MINNEAPOLIS The final seconds ticked off the clock and Ricky Rubio (192-G-90) looked up to see his Minnesota Timberwolves ahead on the scoreboard. It's been a rare occurrence for him recently, and as the relief washed over him he flung the ball high in the air and into the stands.
A six-game losing streak was done, just their fourth victory in the last 26 games was in hand, and Ricky Rubio was the one who had made sure they didn't let another game slip away.
He had 15 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds and six steals to lead the Timberwolves to an 87-82 victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.
"Today was a relief to get that win," Ricky Rubio said.
Derrick Williams added 16 points and seven rebounds for the Timberwolves, and J.J. Barea scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter for the Wolves, who again were playing with just nine healthy players because of a slew of injuries.
John Wall had 19 points and seven assists, and Trevor Ariza added 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Wizards, who were missing leading scorer Bradley Beal because of a sprained left ankle. Washington turned the ball over 24 times, leading to 30 points by Minnesota.
"We're not going to beat anybody with the carelessness we had with the ball," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "We just don't value the basketball at all. It doesn't hurt us to have a turnover. We just throw it all over."
Washington led by eight early in the fourth, but Ricky Rubio's defense keyed a 21-9 surge by the Timberwolves over the final 9:30. He had four steals in the final 8:25, the last coming with 30 seconds remaining and the Wolves clinging to a one-point lead. Shaking off a sore left hand, he dove to the floor to poke a loose ball away from Wall and push it ahead to Barea for a layup that gave Minnesota an 85-82 lead with 28.2 seconds left.
Luke Ridnour scored 15 points and Dante Cunningham added 11 points and five rebounds for the Timberwolves.
"They have just been slapped around so much," Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. "I think you get to a point where you keep saying the same things, you keep talking about the same things. But you need to get a win."
Nene had 12 points and eight boards, and Emeka Okafor added 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Wizards, who squandered a 44-34 advantage on the boards against the short-handed Wolves.
The Wizards turned the ball over 17 times in the first three quarters, but they opened the fourth quarter with a 10-0 run to take control. Wall hit a free throw after a technical foul on Ridnour, Nene scored on an easy layup and Kevin Seraphin backed the smaller Cunningham down low for a post-up bucket to give Washington a 73-65 lead.
Adelman put Ricky Rubio back in the game, and he came up with two steals, fed Barea for a 3 and hit two free throws to get Minnesota back in it. Barea's second 3-pointer a minute later tied the game at 77.
"I just thought we weren't into the flow of the offense very early and we had just careless turnovers," said Wall, who had six turnovers and missed eight of his last 10 shots. "It was passes that were there, but we waited too late or made it a tougher pass than it was. That let them get themselves back in the game. We just feel like we gave this game away."
Wittman was an assistant in Minnesota under Flip Saunders and also was the head coach here from 2007-09. He went 36-105 with the rebuilding team during that time and was having just as much trouble since taking over for the fired Saunders in Washington until Wall hit the court this season. The hard-driving coach has tried to be patient with this young Wizards team, and he's had to be.
Injuries to Wall, Nene and Okafor gutted the Wizards at the start of the season. They slogged through a miserable 5-28 start, but they are 14-12 with Wall in the lineup.
One of the few bright spots for the Timberwolves over the last month has been Ricky Rubio's return to form from his torn ACL last March. He made his season debut in December, and has gradually gotten his game back. The restrictions on his minutes have been lifted and the behind-the-back passes and instinctive perimeter defense have returned.
"We feed off of him," Williams said. "We all look to him."
NOTES Nene air-balled a free throw in the fourth quarter. ... Kevin Love said before the game he will meet with his hand specialist in New York next Wednesday in hopes of getting clearance for contact. ... Former Timberwolves F Martell Webster had 11 points and seven rebounds for Washington. Courtesy of: http://washingtonexaminer.com
Carlson's 31-point game gives him LEB Gold Player of the Week award - 40 minutes ago
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25-year old power forward Mike Carlson (206-F/C-91, agency: Duran International) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for league's best team Gipuzkoa GBC and receives a Eurobasket.com LEB Gold Player of the Week award for round 13. He had the game-high 31 points adding nine rebounds and two assists for Gipuzkoa GBC as his team lost the game against Castello (#13, 5-8) 73-79. Despite this loss Gipuzkoa GBC managed to keep Spanish LEB Gold leading position. They afford to l... [read more]
25-year old power forward Mike Carlson (206-F/C-91, agency: Duran International) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for league's best team Gipuzkoa GBC and receives a Eurobasket.com LEB Gold Player of the Week award for round 13. He had the game-high 31 points adding nine rebounds and two assists for Gipuzkoa GBC as his team lost the game against Castello (#13, 5-8) 73-79. Despite this loss Gipuzkoa GBC managed to keep Spanish LEB Gold leading position. They afford to lose this game, but they have to be very careful to avoid similar "accidents". Gipuzkoa GBC has a very solid 9-4 record, but they cannot be too comfortable about keeping top position. In the team's last game Carlson had a remarkable five three-pointers out of 10 attempts. He turned to be Gipuzkoa GBC's top player in his first season with the team. Truman State University graduate has very impressive stats this year. Carlson is in league's top in points (5th best: 15.7ppg) and averages solid 40.9% from behind 3-point line.
Second best performed player last round was Zaid Hearst (193-G) of Araberri. He is American-Nigerian guard in his first season at Araberri. In the last game Hearst recorded impressive 29 points and 9 rebounds. Of course Araberri cruised to a 94-82 relatively comfortable win over the higher-ranked Palencia (#5, 9-4). This victory allowed Araberri to move up to 8th position in the standings. His team lost some distance to top teams. But 8-5 record is not bad and everything may still change. Hearst is a newcomer at Araberri and quickly became one of team's most reliable players. He belongs to the best scorers in the league with 19.2ppg (#2). He also registered 4.2 boards per game.
Third place about best performers goes to guard Nikola Rakocevic (191-G-91, agency: Dynamics Global Management) of Caceres (#11). Rakocevic got into 30-points club by scoring exactly 30 points in the last round. He was a key player of Caceres, leading his team to a 83-78 win against the lower-ranked FC Barcelona II (#18, 2-11). The chances of Caceres ranking at the top of the league, however are very questionable as they have already lost 7 games, recording just six victories. With bigger assistance of his teammates, Rakocevic could help Caceres to bring them higher in the standings. Rakocevic has a great season in Spain. After 11 games, he made it on the list of the league's leaders in points with 17.0ppg (3rd best).
Other top performing players last week: 4. Alberto Fontet (213-C-86) of Huesca - 19 points and 8 rebounds 5. Oliver Arteaga (208-C-83) of Melilla - 23 points and 3 rebounds 6. Jordi Trias (208-F-80) of FC Barcelona II - 15 points, 15 rebounds and 2 assists 7. Jose Salvador Arco (196-G-84) of Breogan - 25 points and 3 rebounds 8. Pep Ortega (201-PF-84) of Prat - 20 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists 9. Nikola Cvetinovic (203-PF-88) of Araberri - 19 points and 11 rebounds 10. Felipe Dos Anjos (218-C-98) of Oviedo - 14 points and 9 rebounds
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
Milos Teodosic named European Player of the Month: November 2016 - 3 hours ago
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The CSKA Moscow's Milos Teodosic (195-PG-87) has been named European Player of the Month by Eurobasket.com for games played in November 2016. Serbian pointguard helped the Army Men to a 8-1 month (4-0 in VTB and 4-1 in Euroleague), averaging 16.3ppg, 2.1rpg and 6.1apg in 32.9 minutes on the court. On Nov.25, he led his team to a victory over Baskonia finishing the game with a career-high 34 points plus 10 assists. His rating of 43 was the highest in the Euroleague this season. Moreover,... [read more]
The CSKA Moscow's Milos Teodosic (195-PG-87) has been named European Player of the Month by Eurobasket.com for games played in November 2016.
Serbian pointguard helped the Army Men to a 8-1 month (4-0 in VTB and 4-1 in Euroleague), averaging 16.3ppg, 2.1rpg and 6.1apg in 32.9 minutes on the court. On Nov.25, he led his team to a victory over Baskonia finishing the game with a career-high 34 points plus 10 assists. His rating of 43 was the highest in the Euroleague this season. Moreover, he registered assist no. 1000 in his Euroleague career.
Second best performer of November was Sergio Llull (190-SG-87) of Real Madrid. Llull was their key player in Spanish Liga Endesa (4-1, losing derby against Barcelona) and Euroleague (also 4-1 as they lost to CSKA in a thriller on Nov.11). His stats from these 9 games were 17.9 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 5.7 apg combined with impressive 42.1% from 3pt line. His best performance was on Nov.16 in a win against Panathinaikos when Sergio scored 30 points (4 threes) and added 4 assists.
Third best performer of the month was Kyle Fogg (190-PG-90, college: Arizona) of Unicaja. He was a leader of Spanish team averaging 20.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.3 apg in 7 games (4-3). Fogg played his best game on Nov.27 when Unijaca defeated Barcelona 95-89 in Liga Endesa. American guard poured in 29 points.
CB Clavijo inks Bryce Pressley, ex JuveCaserta - 15 hours ago
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Cocinas.com CB Clavijo Logrono (LEB Gold) agreed terms with American guard Bryce Pressley (193-95kg, college: Portland). He already started the season at JuveCaserta in Italian Serie A. He was also voted All-WCC 2nd Team in 2016 at his college time. The previous (12-13) season Pressley played at another team Pilots in U.S. semi-pro league NCAA1 where in 29 games he had 3.8ppg, 2.4rpg and 1.4apg. He just graduated from University of Portland and it is his first season as a pro. Pressley's... [read more]
Cocinas.com CB Clavijo Logrono (LEB Gold) agreed terms with American guard Bryce Pressley (193-95kg, college: Portland). He already started the season at JuveCaserta in Italian Serie A. He was also voted All-WCC 2nd Team in 2016 at his college time. The previous (12-13) season Pressley played at another team Pilots in U.S. semi-pro league NCAA1 where in 29 games he had 3.8ppg, 2.4rpg and 1.4apg. He just graduated from University of Portland and it is his first season as a pro. Pressley's team made it to the WCC Tournament Semifinals in 2015.
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