Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 3/24/12
MINNEAPOLIS The longest road trip in Timberwolves' history is finally over. It's been seven games and five losses, 963 shots and 760 points. It's been two hurt players and the adjustment period to another more serious injury. It's been the fall from .500 to a 23-26 record.So, yes, the trip is over, and that's a good thing.Here are the high points and low points, the numbers and memorable moments from the Timberwolves' two-week road trip, which went a long way toward defining March as the team's most difficult month so far this season.2-5 record: The Timberwolves won just two games on the trip, against the Suns and the Warriors. The average margin of victory in those wins was 3.5 points; their average margin of loss in the other five was 10.4 points.Scoring: The Timberwolves scored an average of 108.6 points on the trip, during which time the team pushed its scoring average from 97.5 points (10th-highest in the NBA) to 99.1 (fifth-highest). Their 140 points in a double-overtime game on Friday in Oklahoma City were the most in franchise history.Low point: The low point of the stretch came when Nikola Pekovic's left ankle issues flared up toward the end of the trip. He missed three of the last four games and played just 11 minutes against Golden State. In the games without Pekovic, the team went 0-3, and the 290-pound center flew back to Minnesota on Wednesday. The team hasn't given a timeline for his return.High point: The high point of the trip came not in a win, but in Friday's loss in Oklahoma City. The game itself was perhaps the most exciting of the season, but what stood out most was Kevin Love's 51-point performance. He scored all but eight of those points in regulation and broke Kevin Garnett's franchise record for the most points in a single game. Love also finished the night with seven three-pointers, a career-best. During the road trip, Love pushed his average points per game from 25.6 to 26.2.Breakout player: At the outset of the trip, it would have seemed that one of the two points guards, J.J. Barea or Luke Ridnour, would have the chance to post big numbers in Rubio's absence. And though Barea had a good trip including a triple-double on Friday the real breakout player was Anthony Tolliver. Tolliver, who saw increased minutes because of Pekovic's injury, scored 23 points in Oklahoma City, 16 in San Antonio and 10 at Golden State. Before the trip, Tolliver was averaging just 10.8 minutes and 3.3 points per game.Disappointment: After Pekovic returned home to Minnesota, Adelman did not play Darko Milicic, who began the season as the starting center, for even a second. Milicic played just six minutes, scoring two points, on the trip, and Adelman admitted that Milicic has done nothing to inspire the coach to put him in the game. Overtime: The Timberwolves played in two overtime games while on the road, both losses. They fell 111-105 to Utah on March 15 and then 149-140 in double overtime in Oklahoma City on Friday. That pushed the team's overtime record to 0-3 this season.46 percent shooting: The Timberwolves shot 46.0 percent from the field on the trip, pushing their season field goal percentage to 43.7 percent. Going into the trip, they were shooting 43.3 percent from the field.Assists without Rubio: Going into the trip, the team was averaging 19.0 assists per game, but while on the road it averaged 22.7 without Ricky Rubio in the lineup. Though Ridnour's play dropped off toward the end of the stretch, both he and Barea managed to improve upon the assist numbers the team posted with the rookie in the lineup, but even so, the Timberwolves missed Rubio's passing abilities and spark.Final take: Before the trip and really before Rubio's injury the Timberwolves hoped to hover around .500 on the road trip. They were a team who was playing well on the road, maybe even better than at home, so that didn't seem like an unreasonable goal. However, with Rubio's season-ending ACL tear just three days before the stretch began and subsequent injuries to Pekovic and Michael Beasley, a 2-5 record might not be as disappointing as it looks. That aside, though, the Timberwolves buried themselves in the Western Conference standings over the past two weeks, going from tied for eighth on March 7 to 11th after Friday's loss. It's going to take a 10-7 record in the season's final games to get the Timberwolves back to .500, and though the toughest teams on the schedule are for the most part behind them, reaching that mark will still be a challenge.Follow Joan Niesen on Twitter.
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