Wolves Lead Big – Get Back To Losing

Apr 22, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Golden State Warriors center Mikki Moore (31) and guard Klay Thompson (11) and small forward Dominic McGuire (5) celebrate a basket late in the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Warriors won 93-88. Mandatory Credit: Greg Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Tonight, the Wolves, who have just recently ended their eleven game losing streak, helped the Warriors end their eight game losing streak at Target Center. With only 1 game remaining in the Timberwolves’ season, a win last night would have helped the Wolves end the season with a slight smile on their face despite an injury hit season. The Timberwolves have never won back-to-back games in the month of April in nearly three years already.

With Kevin Love, who is now recovering from a mild concussion he sustained in a game against the Nuggets, still out of the lineup, the Wolves relied on J.J. Barea and Nikola Pekovic. The Wolves started the game off hot by scoring 32 points in the 1st quarter and holding the Warriors to just 17 points. The Wolves were able to build a 21 point lead in the 1st half which would soon be, and easily, sliced up by rookie guard Charles Jenkins and the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors still trailed the Timberwolves by 6 points heading into the final quarter. The Warriors would pull of a 14-6 run in the first 7 minutes in the 4th which gave the Warriors their first lead of the night at 83-81 off a Jenkins jumpshot. Later, after Pekovic completed a 3 point play and giving the Wolves an 88-87 lead, the Warriors closed out the game by scoring the last 6 points. The big plays made by the Warriors both on the offensive and defensive side would seal the win for head coach Mark Jackson and the Golden State Warriors.

The Wolves had little support of the bench as 4 of 5 starters scored in double figures while everyone else didn’t surpass the eight point scoring mark. Nikola Pekovic led the team with his 16 rebounds and also managed to put in a team high 19 points, giving him a double double. J.J Barea also had a double double that night scoring 14 points and dishing out 12 assists as well. Martell Webster pitched in with 18 points including 4 three pointers. Anthony Randolph did his best in helping Pekovic inside by grabbing 7 rebounds and putting up 14 points as well. Overall the Wolves didn’t shoot the ball very well. Barea had an ugly 5-18 shooting night and Michael Beasley, who had 8 points, shot 3-11 off the bench. The Wolves as a team shot 36.6% from the field compared to the Warriors’ 44.6%. The Wolves, however, made all of their 21 free throws compared to the Warriors’ 6-10 shooting, but still the Warriors were the more relentless team tonight fighting back from 21 down in the 1st half.

The Warriors were led by rookie Charles Jenkins’ 24 points, 9 assists, and 6 rebounds. Jenkins also shot the ball pretty well by making 12 of his 22 shot attempts at Target Center. Fellow rookie guard Klay Thompson, put in 17 points despite a terrible shooting performance by shooting 0-6 from the 3 point strike and 8-21 on the field. Veteran forward Richard Jefferson did his best by pitching in 10 points and 6 boards. However, the Warriors got a lot of help from two players of the bench tonight who both made big plays for the Warriors in the fourth. 4-year man Dominic McGuire scored 19 points, including the game-sealing 3 point play slam dunk, and also pulled down 9 boards. Three point specialist Brandon Rush scored 12 points and hit a big three pointer in the 4th giving the Warriors the lead that they would never lose.

The Timberwolves are set to finish up the season at home against Al Harrington and the playoff bounded Denver Nuggets.

 For more NBA analysis check out Theon’s general NBA blog HERE

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