Ever since Kevin McHale came down from Minnesota's front office to take over as coach in December, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said he's seen a look in his eyes that makes him think McHale might stick with the job for a while.
That gleam vanished on Tuesday night in an embarrassing loss to
the lowly Golden State Warriors.
Stephen Jackson had 23 points, seven rebounds and six assists
and Golden State led by 31 points in the first half of a 118-94
victory over the Timberwolves.
Kevin Love had 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Timberwolves,
who lost for the seventh time in a row and 15th time in their last
"That's as bad as you can play and there's no excuses for
that," McHale said. "That's my fault. The guys weren't ready to
play and that falls on me. We didn't get back. We didn't defend. We
didn't do anything. That can't happen."
Corey Maggette added 16 points and Andris Biedrins had 10 points
and 13 rebounds for the Warriors, who snapped a three-game losing
The Wolves haven't won at home since an overtime victory over
Chicago on Jan. 25.
Golden State has been just as bad on the road, going 1-11 in its
previous 12 away from home.
In recent games, coach Don Nelson held true to his maverick
reputation by sitting Jackson against Utah on Sunday and guard
Jamal Crawford against Charlotte on Friday night.
The Warriors lost both games, but Nelson has essentially has
waved bye-bye to thoughts of competing this year and has turned his
attention to developing the team's younger players for the future.
Crawford openly lamented not having Jackson in the lineup as the
team fell in the fourth quarter to Utah. But his return gave the
team a lift right from the get-go.
"He doesn't get the credit he should, but he's a hell of a
player," Maggette said. "He does it on the defensive end and
offensively, both scoring and passing the ball."
Jackson had seven points, five assists and four rebounds in the
first period against Minnesota to set the tone.
"Yeah, it's crazy. Got a little rest, rest always helps,"
Jackson said. "I wish we could've gotten the win (against Utah),
but it feels good to be back out there today and get this one."
The Timberwolves dropped to 1-9 without star center Al
Jefferson, who is out for the season with a torn ACL. They put up
quite a fight in the first two weeks without their best player. But
this one was the most disappointing loss since a 23-point wipeout
by the Clippers on Dec. 6 that sealed Randy Wittman's fate as
"There was no effort tonight," McHale said.
The Warriors were up by 19 in the first quarter, prompting
McHale to shout, "Who is guarding who out here?"
No one had an answer.
Anthony Randolph's jumper with 9.7 seconds to play in the first
half gave Golden State a 66-35 lead.
The Wolves missed 22 of their first 30 shots against a team that
gives up more points per game than any team in the league.
Wolves guard Mike Miller said that was the first time he's seen
his team mail it in this season "and it better be the last. Our
job is to go out there and compete. We might be short-handed and we
might be a lot of things, but the one thing we can control is how
hard we play."
With 2:50 to play and his team down 20 points, McHale slumped on
the scorer's table and stared blankly while Maggette shot free
Nelson walked down the court and put his arm around McHale to
offer some words of encouragement, from one former Celtics great to
"I just told him sorry that his year ended up the way it did,"
Nelson said. "It's too bad, you know, we're both Celtics. A lot of
feelings for him."
Warriors F Ronny Turiaf did not play because of illness. G
Monta Ellis missed his fourth straight game with ankle stiffness.
Miller pulled down his 3,000th career rebound in the second
With 1:03 left in the third, Wolves F Rodney Carney pulled a Nate Robinson and jumped over Kelenna Azubuike while trying to block his shot.