The Timberwolves used a 16-2 run over a four minute stretch in the third quarter to pull away from Boston and secure a 106-88 victory over the Celtics at Target Center on Saturday night. After playing a back-to-back games and five games in seven nights, head coach Rick Adelman was proud of the way his team responded in the third quarter after the Celtics pulled the game to five points at the half.
"We were better tonight than we were last night," Adelman said. "Guys pushed through the fatigue, and did enough to get a good win."
Kevin Love led the way with 23 points and 12 rebounds while Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin each added 20 in the win. Pekovic was especially active on the offensive glass pulling down eight offensive rebounds.
"They had a hard time guarding him," Adelman said. "He hurt his ankle last night and especially on the back-to-back, it was nice to see him come out and play like that."
Martin wasn't especially efficient offensively, but pushed through a rough shooting night on six-of-18 shooting including 1-for-7 from three point range. The Wolves equaled their second best start to a season in franchise history at 7-4 (7-4 in 2000-2001 and 8-3 in 1998-99). The second unit struggles were better if for only a night as JJ Barea and Dante Cunningham added 13 and 12 points each off the bench a problem Adelman hopes can correct itself as the season moves along.
"You have to keep giving people chances," Adelman said. "Guys have to be ready. It's a long year. We're only 11 games into it and we've got 71 games to go. Guys have to stay with it."
The frantic November continues next week as the team will once again play five games in seven nights including home games against the Clippers and the Nets next Wednesday and Friday. They play on the road at Washington on Tuesday then Houston on Saturday and Indiana on Monday.