Timberwolves guards Rose, Teague both shine in return
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Timberwolves guards (⬆ UP)
Three of Minnesota’s top guards -- Jeff Teague, Derrick Rose and Tyus Jones -- have missed extended time the past few weeks, forcing players like Jerryd Bayless and Jared Terrell to step in and play key minutes. While Jones remains out, Teague and Rose returned earlier this week. Teague played 17 minutes and tallied 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field in a loss to New Orleans over the weekend, then followed it up with a 19-point, 10-assist game against the Clippers for his seventh double-double of the season. And Rose, who’d played just one game since Jan. 24, returned with vengeance Monday night against Los Angeles, tallying 19 points in 35 minutes. The return of both Teague and Rose to the floor boosted Minnesota to its first win in five games.
Dario Saric, Timberwolves forward (⬆ UP)
With the Timberwolves in a funk and desperately needing to turn things around to stay in the playoff hunt, interim head coach Ryan Saunders made a big change to his rotation. On Monday, he decided Saric would start at the 4 position for the rest of the season in place of veteran Taj Gibson. Through one game, it’s worked out. Saric logged 19 points and eight rebounds in the win over Los Angeles, his third double-digit scoring game in the past four contests. It appears Saric’s January lull is over. In 14 games that month, Saric averaged 6.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting 32.5 from 3-point range.
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Xcel Energy Center (⬇ DOWN)
The Wild have been difficult to beat on home ice the last few seasons. But this year, that hasn’t been the case. Minnesota has won two of its last seven home games at the Xcel Energy Center, and just one of those was in regulation. On the season, the Wild own a 13-11-4 record at home, not much better than their 14-14-1 record on the road. For reference, Minnesota was: 27-6-8 at the X last year and 27-12-2 the year before. Oof.
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Gophers women’s basketball (⬆ UP)
Lindsay Whalen’s first season at the helm has been a roller coaster, to say the least. The Gophers began the year a perfect 12-0 and climbed their way into a top-15 ranking. Then, the slide: Minnesota went on to lose seven of its next eight games to plummet to the bottom of the Big Ten. But just when you thought their season was over, the Gophers went off for four straight wins, most recently an overtime win over Northwestern at home Sunday afternoon. Minnesota now owns a 17-7 record (6-7 Big Ten) and is right back in the NCAA tournament conversation.
' Aaron Lavinsky /Star TribuneAP
Zach Parise, Wild forward (⬆ UP)
The Wild might be struggling, but it’s not Parise’s fault. Playing in front of his buddy Joe Mauer on Tuesday night, Parise found the back of the net for his 23rd goal of the season in Minnesota’s 5-4 loss. The forward now has a point in eight of the last 10 games. It’s the fourth time Parise has scored 20+ goals in a Wild uniform, with the 23 goals being his highest since tallying 25 in 2015-16.