Timberwolves 91, Pistons 80
It took almost three full seasons, but the Minnesota
Timberwolves finally won a game in April.
Nikola Pekovic scored 23 points and J.J. Barea flirted with a
triple-double to help the Timberwolves to a 91-80 victory over the
Detroit Pistons on Thursday night. The win was the franchise’s
first in the final month of the regular season since 2009 –
breaking a 27-game losing streak.
”We finally got a win,” said Berea, who finished with 13
points, 12 assists and six rebounds to help Minnesota snap an
11-game overall losing skid. ”We had a lot of energy and we moved
the ball well.”
The Timberwolves never trailed and took a 49-31 halftime lead
after shooting 57 percent (21 of 37) from the field. An 8-0 run
pushed the lead to over 20 points midway through the third quarter
but the Pistons rallied in the fourth to make it close.
Tayshaun Prince had 18 points and Will Bynum scored all of his
17 in the fourth quarter for the Pistons, who lost for the second
time in as many nights.
”Except for parts of the fourth quarter it was pretty good,”
Minnesota coach Rick Adelman said. ”We just want to see if we can
turn this around in the last two games and end the season on a
Pekovic made five of his first six shots to start the game and
had 13 points in the first half to pace the Wolves, who hadn’t won
since March 28, at Charlotte. He finished with nine rebounds.
The Pistons ended the first quarter by missing 10 straight field
goals and shot just 29 percent in the first half. The 31 first-half
points were one off their worst halftime output this season.
Detroit trailed 78-55 with less than 8 minutes to play but
outscored the Wolves 19-3 over the next 6 minutes to cut the lead
to seven points. Pekovic had a putback and dunk in the last 90
seconds to end the rally and force the Pistons to foul.
Pistons coach Lawrence Frank, who called Wednesday’s lackluster
116-84 loss at Atlanta ”unacceptable,” wasn’t much happier with
most of the next night’s effort.
”We looked a little punch drunk at times out there,” he said
after his team’s starters shot a combined 16 of 50 from the
Ben Gordon scored 14 points for the Pistons and fellow reserve
Charlie Villanueva grabbed 12 rebounds.
Anthony Randolph had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Michael
Beasley added 13 points for the Wolves, who finish the season with
two home games.
Notes: Adelman said All-Star C Kevin Love (concussion/neck
strain) might return for the team’s final two games if he is
cleared by doctors. Love, who left an April 11 game at Denver after
a hard fall, was scheduled to undergo tests Thursday. . Pistons F
Ben Wallace did not play Thursday to attend a funeral. .
Minnesota’s last April win was April 8, 2009, at Golden State.