By Jerry Zgoda
It was kind of fitting that Sean Rooks sat next to me on the baseline at Staples Center tonight.
The last time before tonight a Wolves team started a season 1-13, Rooks played on the 1994-95 team whose future was built around, ahem, J.R. Rider and Christian Laettner.
At least until a kid named Garnett arrived in the draft the following summer.
Tonight, the Wolves fell to 1-13 — with a 13-game losing streak — with a dud of a fourth quarter after they had led after each of the first three quarters.
They went without scoring for about five minutes midway through the fourth quarter and watched an eight-point, third-quarter led morph into an eight-point, fourth-quarter deficit before they got within two in the final minute.
But Al Jefferson was called for a traveling violation for the third time in the fourth quarter with 29 seconds left and then Baron Davis preserved the victory with a driving layup with 8.5 seconds left that was his only points of the game after he missed his first nine shots.
While he struggled, the Clips called upon Sebastian Telfair.
Yep, Bassy, the fellow the Wolves traded to L.A. last summer with Craig Smith and Mark Madsen for Quentin Richardson’s contract after David Kahn had drafted point guards Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn consecutively in the June draft.
He scored 17 off the bench, including the Clippers’ first four points in the decisive fourth quarter.
“It means a lot,” Telfair said of Monday’s victory. “I was traded for them to go get some new guards. I want to show I could play. I don’t want to say anybody made a mistake. Those guys are great players. I’m confident enough to know I’m just as good as those guys.”
The Wolves now are three losses away from tying the franchise record for longest losing streak, set twice (1992 and 1994).
A few other things about tonight:
Wayne Ellington was a DNP-CD for the second time in three games (and played less than four minutes in that third game at Portland Saturday).
Flynn’s looking more comfortable out there. He led all Wolves with 17 points, had five assists, two turnovers and more than anything, he can really, really push the basketball. Even Rooks commented on how fast he gets the ball down the court.
SIX of Al Jefferson’s eight turnovers (the Wolves had 21 total) came on traveling violations, three of those in the fourth quarter alone.
This is more the kind of line they need to get from Corey Brewer — 5 for 12, 13 points, seven rebounds, two steals, an assist, two turnovers — rather than those 19-, 20-shot games he was producing in the season’s opening weeks. He’s going to be a pretty versatile, valuable reserve on a playoff team, but he’s no starting 2 guard.
That’s all from L.A. Wolves fly home in the morning, probably won’t practice and play Denver at home Wednesday. Phil Miller’s got Wednesday night game.
Those next three games, btw, are a pair against the Nuggets and Friday’s 8:30 pm home game vs. Phoenix.