Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 2/4/13
MINNEAPOLIS Once again, the Timberwolves are left wondering what if. What if Kevin Love's hand hadn't shattered not once, but twice? What if Chase Budinger's knee ligament hadn't sliced itself into pieces? What if Brandon Roy's brittle joints had a season left in them? And now, on a much more micro level than any of those nagging questions, what if Andrei Kirilenko hadn't sat out the second half of Monday's 100-98 loss with a strained right quad? Kirilenko left the Timberwolves' game with 1:19 remaining in the first half, diagnosed with a right quad strain. Though initially listed as questionable, he did not return, and he remained in the Timberwolves' locker room nearly an hour after the game getting treatment. At the time of his exit, Kirilenko had two points on four shot attempts. Mickael Gelabale started the third quarter in his place. Without Kirilenko, the Timberwolves were down to a six-man bench yet again; the team has had 12 healthy players for just 3.5 games since December 26. Players have to be fed up with repeating the "we're missing guys, but other guys have to step up" line, but that was the trite go-to phrase again after Monday's loss. When Kirilenko left the game, the Timberwolves were down, 47-34. They went on to dig themselves a hole that was as large as 19 points at the end of the third quarter, when Portland led 77-58. However, Minnesota managed to wedge its way back in it in the fourth quarter, finally capitalizing on the Trail Blazers' turnovers (they had 28 on the night) despite their own stagnant offense. "Our team can't exist on one or two guys having big nights," Rick Adelman said, critiquing the lack of offense across the board. "It's got to be four or five guys who are stepping up, giving us something different, making shots." Monday night marked the fifth time this season that the Timberwolves had a chance at a game-winning or game-tying shot, and yet again, they failed, as Dante Cunningham missed a midrange jumper as the clock expired. The team has only been successful in such a situation once, on Nov. 9 against the Pacers, when the play was drawn up for Kirilenko, who then elected to pass the ball in to Budinger as he cut toward the basket. With both players injured Monday, the Timberwolves' options were severely limited, and though they liked the plan they drew up at the end, it wasn't enough. The team had no further update on Kirilenko postgame. It has a day off Tuesday before facing the Spurs at home Wednesday. Follow Joan Niesen on Twitter.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker