Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 3/20/12
It was a third quarter to forget, but a night that the Timberwolves would do well to remember. It was closer than it should have been in Oakland on Monday. It was messy at times, more difficult than it should have been. But when the final buzzer sounded, the Timberwolves came out on top, 97-93, despite appearing as if they'd quit entirely in the game's third quarter. Until halftime, it was a blowout. The Timberwolves were in charge, the Warriors hapless. A 6-0 Timberwolves' lead at the outset stretched to a 49-35 margin at the half, and it seemed that the end of Minnesota's three-game skid would be over long before the game's official end. It wasn't. After being outscored 32-22 in the third quarter, the Timberwolves barely squeaked past Golden State. But the four-point margin doesn't matter. The losing streak is over, no matter how ugly the game that ended it was, and though 19 games remain in the season, this win may have been more needed than any so far this year. "I don't know if it's a must-win," Adelman said before the game. "There's still 19 games to go. You never know when you're going to win a game. But it certainly is an important game for us to try to turn it around." Things might not yet have turned around, but at least the skid ended. Wednesday night in San Antonio will be the team's first chance to start a winning streak rather than cycle back into a losing stretch, and against one of the best teams in the Western Conference, it will be tough. The Timberwolves are banged up, their lineup pieced together; they're not only missing Rubio but also dealing with nagging injuries to Nikola Pekovic and Michael Beasley, both of whom were unable to finish Monday's game. Despite those notable absences, though, the Timberwolves were able to compensate against Golden State. Point guards J.J. Barea and Luke Ridnour had 10 assists each, and Anthony Tolliver was effective, scoring 10 points as the team's big man with Pekovic unable to finish the game and Darko Milicic unavailable. As usual, Kevin Love powered the offense, with 36 points and 17 rebounds, but this win was noteworthy for something other than the statistics. During Minnesota's 115-99 loss on Sunday in Sacramento, the team was on edge. Love and Barea exchanged words during a timeout, and even a casual observer would have noticed that tensions were high. After the loss, Timberwolves' coach Rick Adelman acknowledged that perhaps the best thing about the night was that the team would be forced to come out the next day and play again. His suspicions proved correct. "We just needed to come in here and beat them on their home court," Love said. "Yesterday we had a rough one. Tensions were high, but we all responded, got together, talked things out." Tolliver said that as rough as things got on Monday -- and it wasn't pretty, at times -- he was happy about the way the team responded overall. But it shouldn't be lauded as some miraculous mental shift; it's part of an NBA player's job to respond in such a way, Tolliver said. But don't let that take away from the win. Instead of giving in to sloppy play and resigning to a blown lead, the Timberwolves responded on Monday night in a way that belied their injuries and recent struggles. Heading into the final two games of the road trip, that's just what they needed. San Antonio and Oklahoma City might be the toughest opponents the team will face all month, and to arrive back in the Central time zone with a win will work in the Timberwolves' favor. It's a tiny advantage, but this team will need all the tiny advantages it can get going forward. Follow Joan Niesen on Twitter.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dwight Howard: ‘I have not asked the Rockets to trade me’

Nazem Kadri fined $5,000 for throat-slashing gesture

Hassan Whiteside suspended one game for elbowing Boban Marjanovic

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has torn labrum

Report: Antonio Tarver suspended six months, fined $50,000 for positive test

Texans owner wants team to draft a top quarterback


Subban undergoes larynx surgery, out at least eight weeks

Report: Raiders staying in Oakland for 2016 season

Cavaliers showing trade interest in Kings’ Ben McLemore

Report: Rockets shopping Dwight Howard

Jim Fassel takes issue with Cam Newton's warmup MVP cleats

Report: NFL upholds Vontaze Burfict’s three-game suspension

ESPN, Stephen A. Smith and Little League International sued by parents of Jackie Robinson West

Kobe Bryant shoots down notion he wants All-Star MVP record

Justin Tuck will sign one-day contract to retire with Giants

Ronda Rousey returns to training

Von Miller likely to get franchise tag from Broncos

Barry J. Sanders transferring to Oklahoma State

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

USWNT start Olympic qualification in style by scoring in first 12 seconds

Magic Johnson wants Peyton Manning to join Rams

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

Franchise tag has been a useful tool for John Elway, Broncos

The 16 best NBA All-Star Game sneakers ever

Eight most potentially combustible MLB clubhouses

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker