NBA Game Recap: Warriors 97 – Timberwolves 94

The Minnesota Timberwolves (25-30) welcomed the Golden State Warriors (20-32) to the Target Center on Wednesday night. The Pups entered the game on a three-game losing streak and in 12th place in the Western Division, 4-1/2 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot. The Warriors entered the game on a six-game losing streak in 13th place in the Western Division, and 3-1/2 games behind the Pups. The Wolves had gone 4-10 since point guard Ricky Rubio was lost for the season with an ACL/MCL injury on March 9. The Warriors had gone 2-11 since trading shooting guard Monta Ellis to Milwaukee on March 14. Tonight, something had to give, and it turned out to be one of the worst giveaways of the Wolves’ season.

Minnesota’s playoff hopes seem to be diminishing as fast as the teams’ health. Five of the Pups’ six leading scorers have missed significant games due to injuries in the last month. The sole remaining starter (Kevin Love) and bench have been called on to over-achieve night-after-night in the lockout-shortened 2011/2012 season. The Wolves’ injuries and compressed schedule have clearly taken a toll on this young Pups squad, and with it, the once promising hopes for a playoff spot.

The Wolves fell behind 12-6 in the first quarter, but finished on a 20-9 run at the end of the quarter to lead 26-21. Kevin Love scored 12 points on 6-13 shooting and had five rebounds. Nikola Pekovic added 7 points on 3-3 shooting. Martell Webster had five rebounds in the quarter.

Golden State went the first 5:10 of the second quarter without a point, allowing the Wolves to build a 35-21 lead. The lead grew to 49-29 before the Warriors closed the quarter on a 10-0 run. Still, the Wolves led 51-39 at halftime. K-Love had 16 points on 7-18 shooting, with nine rebounds in the half. Wayne Ellington added seven points for the Wolves during the quarter. David Lee had 14 points for Golden State, with Richard Jefferson adding 10 points off the bench. The Warriors actually outshot the Wolves 42.5% to 41.7% during the first half. However, the Pups outrebounded the Warriors 30-15 in the half.

The third quarter had to have been one of the worst quarters of basketball of the season for the Pups as the Warriors outscored the Wolves 38-20. The Warriors erased a 20 point second quarter deficit (49-29) in just 8 minutes of play, going on a 30-9 run to lead 59-58. Klay Thompson ignited the Warriors’ second half comeback with nine points on 4-4 shooting in the first 4:30 of play. The Warriors outscored the Wolves 22-4 in the paint in the third quarter on their way to a 77-71 lead after three. David Lee and Kevin Love alternated showing offensive prowess and defensive futility. As good as K-Love can be offensively, he can be as bad defensively. The heavy weight of his injured and tired team on his shoulders has not helped this situation.

The Wolves had lost 19 straight games during April and had not won an April game since 2009 against Golden State. Their hopes of ending the streak would not be realized tonight. Wayne Ellington and JJ Barea led a Pups rally in the fourth quarter to tie the score 94- 94 with a minute to play, with Ellington scoring 10 points and Barea scoring 8 points. However, the Warriors’ Charles Jenkins drove down the lane through the heart of the Wolves’ “defense” with 20 seconds left for the winning basket on the way to a 97-94 Golden State win. In the Pups’ final possession, Barea got in trouble while going one-on-nine, missing an off-balance prayer which would have tied the game. Barea ended the game with 15 points on 6-15 shooting, with 7 turnovers. K-Love scored 29 points for the Wolves on 12-28 shooting, but he was 0-7 on threes, with 12 rebounds. This was his first double/double in three games. Wayne Ellington contributed 17 points for the Pups on 7-11 shooting with 7 rebounds in 20 minutes. David Lee led the Warriors with 31 points on 13-25 shooting. Charles Jenkins had 19 points, and Richard Jefferson added 13 points off the bench for the Warriors. Golden State gathered loose ball after loose ball and had numerous second chance baskets in the second half to make the difference in the game.

This was a very disappointing loss for the Wolves before their home crowd, and their fourth loss in a row. Rick Adelman hopes to do something on the road at New Orleans on Saturday which Kurt Rambis was unable to do in two full seasons with the Pups – coach the team to an April win.

NBA Game Recap: Timberwolves 117 – Nuggets 100

The Minnesota Timberwolves (23-26) returned to the Target Center for Sunday’s game against the Denver Nuggets (26-22) following a grueling 12-day, 7-game road trip.  Denver entered the game tied for the last playoff spot in the Western Division, with the Wolves 3-1/2 games behind.  The Pups lost their previous game 149-140 in double overtime to the Oklahoma Thunder in one of the greatest games in the Timberwolves’ history. Kevin Love’s 51 points in that game were the most in franchise history. His 7 three pointers were also a career high. It was the first game in the NBA in 28 years that three players had scored 40 or more points in a game, with Russell Westbrook scoring 45 points and Kevin Durant 40 points for the Thunder.

Denver entered the game first in the NBA in scoring, assists and fast-break points. Denver also entered the game with two players with league-leading tattoos, Wilson Chandler and Chris (“The Birdman”) Anderson, who is beginning to resemble a human comic book page. The Pups were shorthanded at the guard position again, as JJ Barea was determined to be unable to play due to a quad contusion. Barea had been brilliant in a 25 points, 14 assists, and10 rebounds effort against the Thunder. Luke Ridnour was also uncertain due to a groin strain.

Any doubts about Ridnour’s effectiveness didn’t last long. Ridnour was the story of the first quarter, shooting 5 of 5 on field goals and scoring 12 points. Denver gained an early 11-5 lead which was overcome by the Pups’ 19-2 run. Denver did not score a field goal for 5-1/2 minutes during the quarter. The Pups lead 33-20 after the first quarter, with Derrick Williams adding 7 points and K-Love scoring 7 points and grabbing 5 rebounds.

The Pups began the second quarter on an 11-0 run as Denver went four minutes without a point. The Wolves continued their balanced scoring, high-energy and shot 52% as a team for the half. The Pups hit the 50 point mark with 5 minutes to play on their way to a 68-43 halftime lead. The 68 point first-half output was a season high for the Pups. The Wolves got 8 second quarter points from Anthony Tolliver, 7 from Michael Beasley and 7 from Wayne Ellington. Luke Ridnour continued his great play in the quarter. Pop-a-Shot added 4 points during the quarter for a first-half total of 17 on seven of seven shooting. K-Love had 13 points and 12 rebounds at halftime. The Pups committed only four turnovers in the half.

The Pups lost some of their offensive magic and defensive intensity in the third quarter as Denver outscored Minnesota 32-25 to trail 93-75 after three. The Nuggets’ athleticism and floor-running narrowed the Pups’ lead to as little as16 points, as the Nuggets showed how fast they can score points. Kevin Love led the Wolves in the third quarter with 12 points and 7 rebounds, ending the quarter with 25 points and 19 rebounds.

The Wolves did what they needed to do during the fourth quarter to win the game 117-100. Remarkably, Denver outscored the Pups 64-38 in the paint and 29-2 on fast-break points for the game. However, the Nuggets committed 17 turnovers compared to only 9 for the Pups, and shot only 3 of 15 on threes compared to 12 of 35 for the Pups. The Wolves’ starters outscored the Nuggets’ starters 77-54. K-Love led the Wolves with 30 points and 21 rebounds, adding 4 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks. This was K-Love’s third 30/20 game of the season. Luke Ridnour added 25 points and 6 assists in a gutsy effort, with Wayne Ellington adding 17 points off the bench. Malcolm Lee scored his first NBA basket and added three assists. Denver was led by Kenneth Faried with 17 points, mostly on jams, and Andre Miller scored 14 points off the bench. This was a nice win for the Pups before an appreciative capacity Target Center crowd after a long road trip against very difficult competition. The Wolves resume play on the road Tuesday against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Photo Credits: Alan Spearman – Associated Press

NBA Game Recap: Suns 104 – Timberwolves 95

The Minnesota Timberwolves (18-18) entered Thursday’s game against the Phoenix Suns (14-20) playing their third road game in three nights. Phoenix, on the other hand, was playing its first game in eight days. The Pups welcomed Kevin Love back to the lineup for Thursday’s game after K-Love missed Wednesday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers with a rib injury and the flu. Pups Coach Rick Adelman described the team as flat, inpatient and lacking energy in Wednesday’s game. This game contrasted the youthful Pups against the much older Suns, including starters Steve Nash (38 years old) and Grant Hill (39 years old). The game also featured the first matchup of Pups rookie point guard Ricky Rubio against the Suns’ perennial All Star point guard Steve Nash, one of Rubio’s favorite players.

The game also marked the return of Pups forward Derrick Williams to the U.S. Airways Center. D-Will was the PAC 10 Freshman of the Year in 2010 at the University of Arizona, and he was the PAC 10 Player of the Year in 2011. His college coach, Sean Miller, was in attendance at Thursday’s game.

The Wolves showed a high level of energy and patience in the first quarter to lead 23-22. The offense had a completely different feel with K-Love in the lineup. K-Love was guarded by Markieff Morris, who quickly learned that he was not in Kansas anymore. K-Love scored eight points on 4 of 6 shooting in the first quarter with two rebounds. Unfortunately, he would hit only 4 of his next 19 shots the rest of the game. Ricky Rubio, who had made only 4 of 23 field goals in the previous three games, scored seven points on 3 of 3 shooting in the first quarter with two assists. However, Rubio did not score another field goal or assist the rest of the game. Phoenix was led by Marcin Gortat with eight points and two rebounds, while Steve Nash added six points with four assists.

Luke Ridnour, Martell Webster and D-Will led the Pups in the second quarter. Ricky Rubio sat on the bench for much of the second quarter with two fouls.  Ridnour led the team with 9 points on 3 of 4 shooting and four assists. The Wolves led by ten points (44-34) before settling for a 51-46 halftime lead. The Wolves committed only six turnovers in the first half and shot 50% from the field. Minnesota had balanced scoring at the half, led by K-Love with 10 points, Nikola Pekovic with 10 points, Ridnour with 9 points, Rubio with 7 points and Webster with 6 points. Phoenix trailed even while shooting 54% from the field, led by Nash with 8 points and 7 assists and Gortat with 12 points. The Pups were 0 for 7 on threes.

The second half of the game was owned by the Suns. The Suns had won only 2 of 19 games this season when they were behind at halftime. The Wolves were looking for yet another second-half comeback and their tenth road win of the year. Neither the energy nor the shooting was there for the Pups in the second half. Phoenix outscored the Pups 58-44 in the second half on the way to a 104- 95 win. Grant Hill had a strong second half to finish with 20 points on 8 of 12 shooting. The Suns gained their first lead of the game since midway through the first quarter with 1:45 left in the quarter during a 13-4 run. Meanwhile, the Wolves made only 1 of their last 12 field goal attempts to end the quarter. The Pups were outrebounded 31 to 20 through three quarters. The Pups were outscored 31-23 in the third quarter, but trailed only 77-74 after three. Steve Nash had 10 points and 10 assists through three quarters. Phoenix shot 57% through three quarters.

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NBA Game Recap: Timberwolves 100 – Jazz 98

The Minnesota Timberwolves entered Wednesday’s game against the Utah Jazz hoping to even their season record at 17-17 before the All-Star break. The winner of tonight’s game would be at the .500 mark going into the All-Star break. The loser would occupy the basement of the Northwest Division of the NBA’s Western Conference.

Utah came to the Target Center winning only 3 of its last 12 outings. The Timberpups scored the game’s first field goal, but then missed nine straight shots to fall behind 10-2. It seems that the Pups might need a new pregame speech before their home games. Instead of telling the team to “Go for the throat,” it seems that the pregame speech has told them to “Go for the jugular”. The first quarter was another painful 12 minutes of low energy, subpar basketball for the T-Wolves.

The Wolves fell behind 25-11 on 3 of 19 shooting before trailing 27-15 after one quarter. 24 of the Jazz’s 27 points were in the paint.  At the end of the first quarter, the Wolves had hit only 4 of 21 from the field (19%), including 0 of 4 on threes. The Pups did lead the Jazz 5-0 in turnovers. K-Love was 2 of 7 shooting, and Nikola Pekovic was 0 for 5.

The Wolves’ woes continued in the second quarter. The Pups fell behind 39-21 before Ricky Rubio lead an 8-0 scoring run. But as was the case for 3-1/2 quarters tonight, when the Pups rallied, Utah answered. The Pups could not continue to close the gap, shooting 12 of 39 on field goals in the first half (30.8 %) as they trailed 49-37 at the half.  JJ Barea was the only Pup to score three field goals in the first half, and no Pup scored in double digits. K-Love was 2-9 on field goals, and Pek was 0-7.

No worries, though, as the Wolves lead the NBA in winning games when down by 10 points or more at halftime. They had done so 10 times before tonight’s game. That is both good news and bad news.

The Wolves went on a 15-6 run to draw to 55-52 early in the third quarter. Utah then went on a 10-0 run and a 19-8 run in the third quarter to quiet the home crowd, leading 76-64 at the end of the third quarter. Utah scored on six of its last eight possessions in the quarter. Wesley Johnson and JJ Barea helped the Pups stay in the game. K-Love was only 3 of 13 shooting after three quarters, as Utah continued to own the paint.

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NBA Game Recap: Mavericks 104 – Timberwolves 97

The Pups welcomed Kevin Love back to the lineup Friday against the Dallas Mavericks following his two-game suspension for his foot facial to Luis Scola. The Wolves hoped to sweep the season series against the Mavericks for the first time since 1995. The Wolves had handily defeated the Mavericks in the first two match-ups of the season, winning by 17 points on January 1 and 15 points on January 25. Unfortunately, the third time would not be the charm for the Wolves against the Mavericks.

A play in the early minutes of the first quarter typified the game for the Wolves. Wesley Johnson lingered on the offensive end of the court to argue a call while his defensive assignment scored on the other and of the court. Johnson had another disappointing outing, scoring only one point on 0-3 shooting with a turnover and two personal fouls in 13 minutes of play. The Timberpups staff is having a serious confidence crisis when it comes to Syracuse draft picks. The Mavericks had an 8-0 run and a 12-0 run in the first quarter as Dallas surged to a 29-16 first quarter lead. The Wolves scored on only eight of 25 possessions, with seven turnovers which produced 12 points for Dallas This was another frustratingly slow start for the Wolves in front of an enthusiastic home crowd.

The Wolves chipped away at the Mavericks’ lead in the second quarter. The Wolves had fallen behind by 14 points in nine of their previous 14 games and somehow found a way to win eight of the games. The Wolves’ energy and defensive intensity in the first half of the second quarter closed the gap to 36-31. However, Dallas went on a 6-0 run to cool the Pups’ paws. Dallas was aided by three fouls by Michael Beasley in the second quarter, including an offensive interference and sucker foul against Dirk Nowitzki, a poorly timed foul by JJ Barea, and a shot clock violation by Ridnour. Dirk scored his 1000th career point against the Pups during the second quarter. He finished the first half with 16 points on 5-7 shooting and 3-4 on threes. Webster’s stats may suggest that he was a productive contributor. He was statistically effective while contributing little due to turnovers,fouls and defensive lapses. Webster committed a stunningly stupid foul by throwing an elbow against a defensive player during a 4 on 0 Pups break. Wesley Johnson was staggeringly ineffective with a -18 +/- in only 13 minutes of play. What are the Wolves going to do with this guy? The Wolves were 1-10 on three pointers in the first half, while the Mavericks’ bench contributed 26 points. The Wolves had 13 first-half turnovers, leading to 18 Dallas points.

After four quick points by KLove to start the second half, the Wolves again sputtered on both ends of the court. After cutting the Mavericks’ lead to five, Dallas went on on a 9-0 run helped by numerous Wolves mistakes and poor decisions. Ridnour’s poor shooting continued in the third quarter as Dallas surged to a 69-53 lead. Two equally remarkable things happened in the third quarter. Dirk missed both free throws after a foul, and Derrick Williams made both free throws after he was fouled. The Wolves were 1-13 on threes through the middle of the third quarter. The Wolves went on a 9-0 run as Ricky Rubio came alive. Michael Beasley provided some offense for the Wolves, while matching his offensive production with head-scratching decisions and plays. The Wolves pulled to within five at the end of the third quarter (78-73), and outscored the Mavericks 28 to 22 in the third quarter. Ricky Rubio scored or assisted on 13 of the Wolves’ final 17 points.

KLove brought the Wolves back early in the fourth quarter, but Dallas opened an 87-77 lead as Jason Terry showed JJ Barea how to play the game on three straight possessions. Barea added nothing to the Wolves’ offense, finishing the game with six points on 1-8 shooting with four turnovers and 0 assists. Barea can be an offensive scheme-killer when he decides to go one-on-nine, as he did on a few occasions tonight. Beasley finished the game with 20 points on 8-11 shooting, including four of five on threes. The Wolves were only 6-23 on three point shots, 2 of 18 without Beasley. Outside the paint, the Wolves again struggled, shooting only 10-36, after shooting 10-40 against Sacramento and 8-36 against Memphis. Is there a shooting guard with a high game IQ in this team’s future?

The outcome was sealed in the fourth quarter when the Wolves committed additional turnovers on their way to setting the franchise and NBA team high of 28 turnovers. Dirk Nowitzki had a season-high 33 points against the Wolves on 11 of 19 shooting. Jason Terry contributed 16 points. Jason Kidd provided eight points and 10 assists in 27 minutes. The Wolves were led by Kevin Love with 32 points and 12 rebounds. Beasley had 20 points on 8-11 shooting (but 5 fouls and 3 turnovers). Nikola Pekovic had 12 points and 7 rebounds. Ricky Rubio had 10 points and 8 assists with four turnovers. The Pups out rebounded the Mavericks 47-38, but had fewer assists (25-20), fewer steals (16-7), fewer blocked shots (8-1) and more turnovers (28-18) than the Mavs. The Mavericks shot 43% from both the field and on threes. While Dalas’ shooting made life difficult, the Wolves season-high 28 turnovers lead to some easy buckets. The Pups can only wonder what that kind of shooting is like.

The Wolves are 0-2 wearing the Muskies throwback jerseys. This game was a missed opportunity for the Wolves in front of their home crowd, as their season record slipped to 13-14. The Wolves will need to regroup and tighten up on both ends of the court as they await the arrival of the New York Knicks on Saturday night.

NBA Game Recap: Timberwolves 87 – Spurs 79

The Timberpups welcomed the return of Michael Beasley, Luke Ridnour and Martell Webster back to the lineup in Friday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs. The Pups were hoping to beat San Antonio for the second straight game in the same season for the first time since 2000. The Timberwolves had won only one of the previous 22 games against the Spurs before 2012. But 2011-12 is a new season, particularly with the arrival of Coach Rick Adelman and point guard Ricky Rubio. The much anticipated question was how the returning players would fit into the Wolves emerging scheme. The Pups were once again slow out of the gate, not scoring their first basket until 3 minutes into the game. Richard Jefferson initially sparked the Spurs making his first four shots, but he missed his last five shots and did not score another point in the game. Michael Beasley entered the game with 4-1/2 minutes left in the first quarter after missing 11 games with a right foot sprain. Beasley did not fit naturally into the Pups’ ball movement, seemingly content to go one-on-one against his defender. They had a good close to the quarter to trail 22-21. Rubio and K-Love each had five first quarter rebounds, Wes Johnson added six points on two dunks and a drive to the basket, and Beasley added four points.

Beasley continued to fire away at the beginning of the second quarter, averaging a shot a minute in his first 6 minutes of play in the game. Rubio’s three pointer gave the Pups their first lead of the game at 34-33. Martell Webster made his first appearance of the game and season and knocked down a three pointer for the Timberwolves, his first three pointer of the year and the Pups’ first three pointer of the night. After a 9-2 run put the Pups in the lead 36-33, they had six straight misses as San Antonio went on a 9-0 run. They shot just 40% for the first half, including just one three-pointer and only seven team assists. The Timberwolves outrebounded San Antonio 23-17 for the half, with K-Love contributing eight boards and Nikola Pekovic seven boards.

The Pups began the third quarter on an 8-2 run, including three straight baskets by Niko. After hitting six of their first seven shots in the third quarter, the Wolves missed their next seven shots. Tony Parker led a Spurs comeback by alternatively scoring on dribble penetrations to the rim and perimeter jump shooting. The Target center crowd was electrified on a Rubio no-look bounce pass down the lane to K-Love for an easy lay-in. The Pups began to pull away, but the Spurs made their last four shots of the quarter to tie the game at 64 after three.

The Spurs began the fourth quarter with a Matt Bonner three to pull ahead 67-64. The Pups then went on a 9-0 run to pull back into the lead, one of 15 lead changes in the game. Derrick Williams scored three big baskets off the bench in the fourth quarter, including a two hand, behind the head slam after scoring the previous possession on a strong move to the basket scoop shot to put the Pups ahead. San Antonio then went on a 10-2 run to go ahead 79-77. Rubio put the Pups ahead 81-79 with two free throws and a long two pointer from the top of the key with 2-1/2 minutes to play, 4 of Ricky’s 9 fourth quarter points. At crunch time, the Wolves showed patience and maturity which were the Spurs’ trademarks by using the clock and moving the ball to get quality shots at the rim and in the paint, while denying the Spurs quality looks. The Timberwolves finished the game with key stops and a 10-0 run to close the game, outscoring the Spurs 23-15 in the fourth quarter. San Antonio scored only one field goal in the last 7 minutes of the game. The Spurs’ 79 total points was their lowest game total of the season, and 20 points below their game average.

The returning players gave the Pups’ starters much-needed minutes of rest. In their last game against Dallas, Rubio played 46 minutes, K-Love 43 minutes and Ellington 39 minutes. Tonight, Rubio played 42 minutes, K-Love 38 minutes, and Ellington 18 minutes. Nikola Pekovic gave a large contribution tonight, and scored 14 points on 7-13 shooting with 10 rebounds, including six offensive rebounds. K-Love scored 18 points on 6-13 shooting, with 14 rebounds. Rubio scored 18 points on 7-12 shooting, with 10 assists and four rebounds. The Pups committed only nine turnovers tonight which is a large indicator of the amount of change this team has endured this season. Derrick Williams contributed 12 points on 6-10 shooting in 19 minutes, and Beasley scored seven points on 3-11 shooting in 22 minutes. Anthony Randolph was scoreless in 5 minutes of relatively ineffective play.

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NBA Game Recap: Rockets 107 – Timberwolves 92

Monday night showcased the return of former Pups GM and Coach Kevin McHale to Target Center. The game was the much-anticipated reunion game of the Pups team coached by Rick Adelman (who formerly coached the Houston Rockets) and the Houston Rockets team coached by McHale. The Rockets entered the game as the NBA’s hottest team, riding a 6 game winning streak. The Pups entered the game as one of the most interesting, but inconsistent, teams in the league. The Pups demonstrated each of these attributes on Monday night. Regrettably, only Kevin Love showed up to play for the Pups.

Derrick Williams made his NBA starting debut due to Wes Johnson’s illness. He made a strong move to the basket in the first 15 seconds of the game, which he could not finish, setting the tone for the Pups’ night. The Pups missed an astonishing 13 of 23 opportunities at the rim in the first half. Williams finished the game with 11 points on 3-11 shooting with 7 rebounds, 4 turnovers, and a -11 +/- in 37 minutes. The Pups missed their first 5 shots on their way to yet another slow start. The Pups’ guards were abysmal in the first quarter, not scoring a single point in the first 11 minutes, and were outscored 15-1 by the Rockets’ guards in the first quarter. The Darko of old reappeared tonight, bringing a new haircut and little else to the arena. Houston 28, Pups 19 after one quarter.

Houston’s guards, led by Kevin Martin, continued to dismantle the Pups’ defense in the 2nd quarter. Martin finished the first half with 21 points, and the Rockets’ guards outscored the Pups’ guards 32-10 in the first half on their way to a 54-47 lead at the half. The Pups continued to miss easy opportunities and open looks. KLove kept the Pups close on 19 first half points, including 3-3 on threes, and 7 rebounds. Anthony Randolph added 7 points and 5 rebounds. Randolph played like a man possessed in the quarter, but added only 2 points and no boards the rest of the game. The Pups clawed back to trail by only 3 late in 2nd quarter, but Houston answered with a 7-0 run, leading 54-47 at the half.

Led by KLove’s 13 3rd quarter points, the Pups surged to a 5 point lead late in the 3rd quarter (70-65). However, Houston closed the quarter on an 11-1 run to lead 76-71 at the end of the 3rd quarter.  Playmaker Ricky Rubio had shooting struggles, but had 11 assists after 3 quarters. Milicic did nothing on either end of the court, and was outrebounded 15-3 by Samuel Dalembert (in 25 minutes) after 3 quarters. Mercifully, Milicic saw no action in the fourth quarter (which seemed to suit him just fine).

The Rockets outscored the Pups 31-21 in the 4th quarter to polish off the Pups 107-92. The Rockets finished the game on a 42-22 run with the Pups offering little resistance, committing 10 4th quarter turnovers and countless defensive breakdowns and poor decision-making. After beginning the game 1 of 5 shooting, KLove finished with 39 points on 13 of 19 shooting, including 5 of 5 on threes, with 12 rebounds. KLove’s strong play could not overcome the Rockets’ guards’ dominance of the Pups’ guards, who were outscored 70-27 in the game. Houston was led by Kevin Martin’s 31 points and Kyle Lowry’s 16 points. Lowry had a triple double, adding 10 rebounds and 10 assists. The Pups have not beaten the Rockets at Target Center in over 5 years, and tonight’s game showed no indication of this streak ending soon. At least Kevin McHale was able to coach a team to a win at Target Center.

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