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3-pointer from Section 131 – Finally, a Laugher

Joann and I have tickets to 18 Wolves’ games this year. You might ask, “Why?” There is no answer to that. But we have them, and I’m going to post my impression of the team and each game right here on Bachblog. Lucky you.

Saturday, December 4: Wolves 129, Cavaliers 95

Woves v Cavs 12/4/2010I don’t remember the last time the Wolves rested their starters in the fourth period with a lead. Oh, sure, the Wolves have had occasion to empty the bench in the last quarter. Just this year, they’ve suffered losses of 36, 34, 26, and 20 points. But the last game they won by thirty or more points probably featured Kevin Garnett. So it’s been awhile.

It was nice to see a win and to be on the right side of blowout, but I’m not sure how much encouragement a Wolves’ fan can really take from this game. They won’t shoot this way again soon: over 60% from the floor for the game, and an incredible 18-26 (69%) from distance. And they beat up on a Cavs team that was at rock-bottom after a big emotional loss to LeBron James and the Heat just two days earlier.

Still, the game was entertaining and a lot of fun to watch. We’ll take it … thankyouverymuch.

Basketball point oneKevin Love is looking more-and-more likely to be the Wolves’ first All-Star selection since KG. He scored 28 points and pulled down 19 rebounds tonight. He’s leading the league with 15.3 boards per game (Joakim Noah is second in the league, a full three RPG behind), is averaging about 19 points per game, and has been all over the national media since his “31/31″ game. With all of the press, I think he’s got an outside chance to be voted in as a starter (a lot depends upon how the Chinese/Yao vote goes, of course).

Basketball point twoThe Wolves set a franchise record in the game by hitting eighteen three-point shots. Love led the way with his 5-for-5 night; Wayne Ellington hit 4-of-6 off the bench (and one of his misses was a half-court heave at the end of the first quarter); “The Rook” Wes Johnson hit 3-of-4. In all, seven Wolves hit three-pointers.

Basketball point threeDarko Milicic had another solid game (14 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 blocks), and led the team with a +41 point differential. In doing so, he became only the seventh Wolf and the first since 2001 to finish with a plus/minus of 40 or more. On November 8, 2001 against the Bulls, all five starters—Garnett, Wally Szczerbiak, Terrell Brandon, Joe Smith, and Rasho Nesterovic—accomplished the feat. Brandon also did it once earlier that same season.

Injury updates: The Wolves played tonight’s game without Michael Beasley (ankle) and Anthony Tolliver (knee). Beasley is considered to be day-to-day, but the expectation is that Tolliver will be out awhile (we should know more next week). Any extended absence by Tolliver will really hurt.

On the positive side, Nikolai Pekovic (ankle) played for the first time in about two weeks, and looked healthy. He will have to step up and replace some of Tolliver’s minutes backing up Love, as well as backing up Darko. He’ll have to stay out of foul trouble, which has been killing him.

Jonny Flynn (hip) played in a D-League game on Friday and is expected to play once or twice more for the Sioux Falls Skyforce before rejoining the Wolves. It looks as if he may play Tuesday, December 14, against the Warriors.

Martell Webster (back surgery) may be only a week away; we haven’t heard much.

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