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Timberwolves struggle to make shots in loss at Utah

Published January 3, 2013 11:56 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

For the first time this season, the Minnesota Timberwolves just didn't have it.

Coach Rick Adelman chalked up Wednesday night's 106-84 loss to the Utah Jazz as an all-around poor performance — something that happens during the grind of an 82-game regular season.

"If you look around the league," Adelman said, "people have bad games. The key is how are we going to respond tomorrow? I think that is probably the telling thing."

Minnesota, now 14-14 this season, plays Denver at Pepsi Center on Thursday night.

"It's very important," said Kevin Love, who finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds against Utah. "We've got to win on the road. We've got to at least split on the road. So now it's a big game for us."

Like the rest of his teammates, Love had a difficult time against the Jazz's defense. He missed 10 of his 14 shots, including all four 3-point attempts.

He is now shooting 35.4 percent this season.

"Man, I had great shots," Love said. "… If you tell me I'm taking bad shots — shots I don't usually make — you're fooling yourself and you're fooling me."

Like his coach, Love thought the Timberwolves played their worst game of the year against Utah.

"I can't remember one like this," he said. "We had a good game plan. We had great shots. But we didn't make them and they picked us apart."

Andrei Kirilenko finished with 12 points and seven rebounds, including the 4,000th of his NBA career. He spent his first 10 years in the league with the Jazz.

Kirilenko received a warm ovation from the crowd of 19,120 when he was introduced.

"I have a lot of good memories here," he said. "So it's very nice to play against this crowd. I had a lot of adrenaline, of course, coming back here and playing."

Looking ahead, Kirilenko said, "We need to take a rest right now and get back on track. … It was just a one of those games you have where we couldn't make a shot."