I have to admit that I have mixed feelings about this one. This being The Big Game. Or, A Big Game. Part of me says that the Timberwolves aren't playing Big Games these days, and probably won't until next fall.
But on the other hand, hey, they broke an 8-game losing streak, and won on the road for the 1st time in 6--count 'em, 6--weeks, or since Kevin Love went out with a hand injury for the 2nd time this year.
And, if this turns out to be the 1st game of a massive winning streak, well, I would feel bad if I hadn't marked the occasion. I mean, the Wolves are 5 games out of the playoffs with 33 games to go. And Love is making noises about coming back from his injury again. And, and, and, hey, Ricky Rubio is starting to look like Ricky Rubio!
Ricky! scored 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting, with 10 assists and 5 steals and played Kyrie Irving (20 points, 7 assists, no steals) almost to a stand-still. The only problem with this claim is 7 Rubio turnovers to 3 for Irving, though each team ended up with 20 of 'em.
But the big star was Ricky's running mate Luke Ridnour with 21 points including a big 3 at 1:43 that stretched the Wolves lead from 92-89 to 95-89. Rubio assisted, then followed with a 2. Game over.
Earlier Ridnour had scored 8 points in a 16-7 Wolves run that broke a 76-all tie at 8:59 and gave Minnesota a 92-83 lead at 3:55. Cleveland scored 6 straight, but then the Wolves closed it out at 8-3 for the win.
Nikola Pekovic added 16 points and 10 boards.
Player of the Day: Ridnour
Coach of the Day: Rick Adelman, Timberwolves