Well, it got a little hairy late on when the Nuggets got into Hot Mode, but the Wolves hung on for a 132-128 win in Denver tonight. It wouldn't be Wolves without a little drama. Free throws saw it out in the end, which was appropriate on a night when the Wolves went to the line 64 times.
It looked like it was going to be a fairly easy win, as the Wolves had a monster 1st quarter that saw them take a 15 point lead, which they more or less hung onto for most of the rest of the game. The Nuggets made a brief run late in the 3rd quarter, but the Wolves were able to push the lead back out to 20 early in the 4th. They maintained a comfortable lead until very late, when the Nuggets made four straight 3 pointers to apply pressure to the Wolves. However, Kevin Martin made 8 straight free throws to keep the Nuggets at bay and finish off the game.
The story of tonight's game was the crazy number of free throws the Wolves took. 64 for the game, 32 in each half. The last 10 were intentional fouls by the Nuggets, but it was still a parade to the free throw line all night. This has been a theme of the season, but it was particularly pronounced tonight. I thought the calls were more or less justified, as the Wolves were consistent about attacking the basket throughout.
Kevin Love merely went for 33 and 19 tonight, a fairly unremarkable line in recent weeks, while Nikola Pekovic had a fairly quiet 16 and 9, and seems to have picked up where he left off prior to his ankle injury. It was a quiet night for Ricky Rubio, who got into early foul trouble and later got into Adelman trouble as he was pulled from the game with 3:30 left following a turnover, and didn't return despite the Nuggets subsequent run.
This win finished off a 4-1 road trip for the Wolves, and I'm not going to bother looking up their last trip this successful, but its been a while. While it wasn't exactly a murderers row of opponents, winning on the road in the NBA isn't easy, and the Wolves got themselves back over .500 with their win tonight.
They have a fairly soft schedule over the next couple of weeks, and must take advantage of it if they are going to mount any charge for the playoffs, which remain an unlikely destination despite the Wolves recent success.
The Wolves kick off a four game homestand against the Knicks on Wednesday.