Wavering Wolves: Inconsistencies Mark T’wolves Loss to Clippers

Thursday, December 17th, 2009 at 5:32 am

Minneapolis, MN, U.S. (AHN) – Consistent is not an adjective often associated with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

At least it hasn’t been for a while and Wednesday at the Target Center, it was apparent why.

Minnesota lost to the Los Angeles Clippers 120-95, just two nights after arguably their best victory of the season.

“It’s tough. We were trying to get two in a row, something we haven’t done this season. We just didn’t bring the energy tonight, bottom line,” said guard Ramon Sessions.

The T’wolves shot over 48-percent Monday in a 110-108 win over the Jazz in Utah. The loss was just the fourth for the Jazz at home this season.

What a difference 48 hours makes.

The Wolves inconsistency was evident early in the loss to the Clippers.

After a potent first quarter in which Minnesota netted 29 points on 54-percent shooting, the Wolves went colder than Lake Minnetonka in December.

Minnesota shot a frigid 38-percent from the field and were just 1-of-11 from downtown for the game.

“You have to credit some to their defense,” said head coach Kurt Rambis. “But I think our guys were doing too much of holding the basketball and trying to force things.”

Not only was the magic touch gone offensively, but defensively as well.

The Clippers went on a 19-2 run in the second quarter on their way to a season high in points. Los Angeles also outscored the Timberwolves in the paint 50-46.

“A lot of it was our energy,” said Kevin Love. “We let too many points go in the paint. They scored too many points for the whole game and that can’t happen if we are going to win.”

The Wolves (4-22) have played better since their 1-15 start, but continue to struggle to put together back-to-back wins. Minnesota was denied a win streak for the fourth time this season.

“I expect this team to fluctuate and go up and down,” said Rambis. “I don’t expect them to have a nice smooth curve upward. I expect there to be peaks and valleys. Overall they are going up.”

Nights like Wednesday point to the struggles Minnesota is having of reaching the peaks.

The Clippers led by as many as 25, and Love admitted he was winded after a stretch of four games in six nights.

“We are a young team, we shouldn’t have that excuse,” he said. “I think we just looked tired tonight.”

Rambis can handle an off-night shooting, he can stomach the 12 turnovers, but he cannot accept a lack of energy.

“”This was a big step backwards in my mind. Effort-wise and defensive-wise it was big step backwards,” said Rambis.

However, Love doesn’t see Wednesday’s loss as step backwards, just a poor performance.

“It was a bad game. As far as where are heads are, we know we can play, we just had too many lapses,” he said. “I think tomorrow we just need to come back, have a good practice and Friday (against Sacramento) have a better night.”

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