Jonny Flynn dishes out 14 assists as Wolves' bench soars over Detroit
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The Minnesota Timberwolves' bench stepped up in one of their best performances of the season in a 116-105 win over the Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills Wednesday night.
The Wolves are now 3-2 on their last five road games after starting the season 2-23 away from Target Center.
Jonny Flynn recently said it would take him until the start of next season until his surgically repaired hip would be completely behind him but it certainly didn't seem to bother him Wednesday. Flynn not only played his best games since returning from surgery in December but also one of the best of his young career. Flynn finished with a career-high 14 assists and even more impressively, just one assist. He also put up eight points of his own.
Flynn's 14 assists were the most for a Wolf since Randy Foye also put up 14 in 2008.
The Wolves did not miss a beat without starting center Darko Milicic who wasn't in Detroit because of a family issue.
Anthony Randolph stepped up and showed the athleticism and potential that had the Wolves coveting him since last spring. Randolph looked a bit sluggish and lethargic in his first thee games in a Wolves uniform but added a new level of aggressiveness against Detroit. He finished with 19 points and 9 rebounds on 8-of-13 shooting in 25 minutes.
Randolph made an impressive case for what many have been asking for since he was traded for: A spot in the starting lineup. Both Kahn and Rambis have said they are going to move cautiously with Randolph, not wanting to do anything to hurt the 21-year-olds confidence. But at 15-47 the Wolves clearly have nothing to lose and may as well get as much run out of Randolph as they can to determine if he is going to be a piece moving forward as this team looks towards the big picture.
Rookie Nikola Pekovic got his third career start in place of Darko and struggled with foul trouble. Pekovic finished with just two points in 12 minutes and rode the bench to make way for Randolph and Anthony Tolliver who also contributed to the bench's impressive performance.
Tolliver provided the spark and energy he has become known for in his first season in Minnesota. Tolliver put up 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting including 2-of-3 from behind the arc and also added four rebounds, two assists and a steal in 30 minutes on the court.
But as impressive as the bench was, they couldn't have done it without their All-Star. Kevin Love ran his double-double streak to 48 consecutive games with a 20 point, 20 rebound performance. Love is now just three games way from tying Moses Malone's streak of 51 straight which is the most since the NBA/ABA merger in 1976. Malone's streak spanned between two seasons, running from Dec. 29 1978 to Oct. 19 1979.
If the streak continues, Love will have the chance to tie Malone next Monday at home against the Dallas Mavericks and surpass the record next Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers.
But first things first, Love most keep the streak alive Friday night as the Wolves continue their three game road trip at Philadelphia Friday at 6 pm.