By Jerry Zgoda
The Wolves hadn’t won since opening night.
The Nuggets hadn’t lost at home since last March (17 straight victories, including 7-0 this season).
So all your previously 1-15 Wolves do is produce a 31-12 third quarter that included an opening 14-0 run and ended their 15-game losing streak one loss shy of tying the franchise record.
The way they walked off the court almost somberly, you would have thought they had just won their 14th straight.
“Shoot, that’s just one win,” Al Jefferson said. “It’s a good win, but we got to keep it going. We don’t want to win one and relax.”
He was almost grumpy in the locker room afterward on a night when the Wolves trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half.
What happened at halftime?
This Damien Wilkins quote says about all you need to know about this season:
“We had a lot of confidence coming into the locker room at halftime. We were only down 14.”
But, seriously, folks…
Actually, he was being serious.
Kurt Rambis put Wilkins beside Ryan Gomes at the starting forward spots because he wanted those two to match up against Carmelo Anthony and Kenyon Martin.
Gomes, playing power forward, took his game outside and scored 27, most by a Timberwolf this season. Wilkins delivered a career high in rebounds with 12 and had his fourth career double-double.
The Wolves now are 2-0 this season when Wilkins has a double-double.
Not only did Rambis tinker with his starting lineup, he also didn’t play Sasha Pavlovic and Brian Cardinal at all and limited Oleksiy Pecherov to just 4:31 of playing time.
The Wolves outrebounded the Nuggets 46-43 and had one more asisst (24-23) on a night when the Nuggest had 19 assists by halftime and just four thereafter.