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Updated: February 12th, 2011 9:45pm
Luke Ridnour returns but Wolves still shorthanded in lopsided loss

Luke Ridnour returns but Wolves still shorthanded in lopsided loss

MINNEAPOLIS -- Luke Ridnour returned Saturday in the Minnesota Timberwolve's 107-87 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers after missing the last six games while dealing with a personal issue.

Ridnour came off the bench in relief of Jonny Flynn who started his seventh consecutive game and showed no signs of rust after his long layoff. 

Ridnour finished with 13 points, five assists and zero turnovers. He provided a great spark off the bench in 19 minutes of work.

Coach Kurt Rambis said Ridnour kept up his condition while away from the team and practiced with the team once before they left for their last road trip.

"He was ok," Rambis said of Ridnour. "He had a lot of really nice moments out there. It was good to have him back."

Unfortunately the Wolves did not bring the same intensity back home to Target Center that they brought on their recent road trip.  The team looked sluggish, particularly in the second half, and shot a woeful 36.4 percent.

"For whatever reason, and I dont know the answer, a good chunk of our guys, about half of our guys just weren't there tonight," Rambis said after the loss. 

Despite Ridnour's return, the Wolves were shorthanded once again and look to remain that way for the time being.

Michael Beasley sat out his third consecutive game with an ankle injury and says he is going to try practicing Sunday. He says he has gotten X-rays done but they show no significant damage.

"Maybe two or three (more) days," Beasley said. "I am going to try to practice (Sunday) and see how well I can cut. That's all it is. I feel like I could play if I needed to. I could play right now, I just can't give it my all, especially on the defensive side."

"(The ankle is ) around 70 percent. Sometimes I get up in the morning and it is a little sore, sometimes like this morning, you don't really feel it."

It's been Beasley's left ankle that he continues to sprain and says he would rather take a few extra days off to get healthy than risk serious injury. Amazingly, for someone who has played as much basketball in his life as Beasley has, the only other time he sprained an ankle before this season was in high school.

Martell Webster is also expected to practice Monday as well after missing the last five games with back spasms. 

Webster was not available for comment and coach Kurt Rambis -- true to form -- was very vague when asked if the spasms are related to the back surgery that caused Webster to miss the first 24 games of the regular season.

Darko Milicic missed his third consecutive game with a strained hip flexor. There has been no official word on when Darko will return to practice but the injury is not serious and he is day-to-day, according to the Wolves PR department.

Nikola Pekovic continued to fill in admirably in Darko's absence as he continues to put together a solid rookie season while making the difficult transition to life in the NBA from life in Europe.

Pekovic finished with six points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots in 29 minutes. 

Kevin Love's double-double streak reached 40 games after a 16 point, 13 rebound performance. Love is now just four games away from matching Moses Malone for the longest consecutive double-double streak since 1982-83. Love continues to lead the league in overall double-doubles too with 49 on the season.

Flynn continued to the up-and-down play that has defined his season since returning from hip surgery with 12 points, three assists and four turnovers. 

Rambis made it clear after the game that he isn't sure who the starting point guard will be going forward and the situation will be fluid for the rest of the season. 

A big part of the poor shooting performance came from Wesley Johnson and Wayne Ellington who shot a combined 4-of-20, including 0-for-8 from behind the arc. 

The Wolves have a day off Sunday before coming back for their last two home games before Kevin Love and Wesley Johnson head to LA for All-Star Weekend while the rest of the Wolves put their feet up and -- in some cases -- rest their wounds.

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