Kevin Martin back at practice, plans to start against Denver
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Who knew the cure to the flu could come in the form of an eye-popping scoring barrage.
Timberwolves guard Kevin Martin, battling flu symptoms on Wednesday, was forced to watch his team take on Cleveland from home.
But what he saw eased his aggravation from sitting out. Despite the absence of their second-leading scorer, the Wolves tormented the Cavaliers in a 124-95 beatdown, scoring a franchise-record for three quarters of work (106 points).
"I started feeling better after the first half last night," Martin said with a laugh. "The team made me feel a lot better."
Martin was back at practice Thursday just before the Wolves (6-3) were scheduled to hop on a flight to Denver, where they will face the Nuggets Friday night. Minnesota didn't practice long, but he was able to participate.
Martin, who has averaged 27.5 points in his last six games, said he fully expects to play against Denver.
While he doesn't want watching from afar to become a common occurrence, the change in perspective gave him a new take on the makeup of the Wolves.
At least for one night, the Wolves proved in a big way they could make up for the loss of a critical player, albeit against a Cavs squad wrought with early season struggles. It's the trademark of a quality team and a good sign to see only two weeks into the year.
"I think you're more of a fan than an actual teammate at that moment," Martin said of watching the game on T.V. "It was just good to see the guys respond like that."
"It just shows that we're a deep team. We dealt with that with Chase (Budinger), next man had to step up. Then Ronny (Turiaf) went down and another man had to step up. Last night a guy had to step up. There's going to be more nights where people are going to have to step up."
Robbie Hummel was solid (10 points - 4-of-6) in a surprising fill-in start in place of Martin. Hummel isn't now all of a sudden going to be thrown in as a key cog in the Wolves' rotation, but Martin said he was a "proud big brother" to see the 24-year-old rookie excel in his last-minute start.