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Weary Suns Fall to Inspired Timberwolves (100-93)

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Well it was bound to happen sooner or later: Tired legs meet inspired, win-hungry young team and the upset ensues. There are plenty of built-in excuses for this one:

  1. Physical exhaustion by the Suns from a four games in five nights stretch on the road
  2. Blogger's jinx (That does it! I'm not making another prediction in a game thread the rest of the season!)
  3. Inspired effort by the underdogs
I'm not egotistical enough to think that item 2 had any real impact (but I'm still not making anymore predictions). The other two items were probably a factor, however, the outcome of this game can be explained by a single statistic from the boxscore: Minnesota's 19 offensive rebounds which led to a boatload of second chance points. The Timberwolves out-rebounded the Suns 55-33 overall. This was a great example of a team taking full advantage of their biggest strength against a team which struggles on the boards even on a good day. More than any other factor, the rebounding edge is what tipped the game in the TWolves' favor.

It's really kind of hard to be too upset about this one. These things happen, and with the Suns not seeming particularly into this game, it made it much easier to be happy for the young guys in Minnesota who just secured what will possibly be their biggest win all year. For a team with no hope of making the playoffs, this was as big as it gets for them. So hats off to the Wolves for taking full advantage of a friendly break in the schedule, and using their rebounding prowess to maximum potential. Moving on.

Player of the Game: Al Jefferson. 32 points, 20 rebounds (6 offensive), four steals, two assists, and one block. Enough said.

Runner-Up: A rare double-nomination for the winning team tonight. Craig Smith deserves a mention for the five offensive rebounds he contributed along with his 16 points on 7-11 shooting, and three more rebounds on the defensive end. The "Rhino Roam" strategy got it done this time.

Grading the Game: This is definitely an "A" night for the Timberwolves and their fans. But they got a huge assist from a tired and seemingly uninspired Suns team. This is the kind of game you really regret losing come March and April when the seeding gets set, so I'm thinking "D" (as in "D'oh!") is appropriate from our side of things.

Boxscore     NBA.com Recap     Arizona Republic

Poll

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  • 22%
    A - Awesome!
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    B - Better than average
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    C - Could be better
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    D - D'oh!
    (0 votes)
  • 77%
    F - Flush it.
    (7 votes)
9 votes total Vote Now