All the losses and injuries had been piling up for weeks on the Timberwolves. They were shaken, unsure, almost helpless to stop them.
They were desperate for a break. And finally, they got one.
Luke Ridnour scored 21 points, Ricky Rubio added 13 and 10 assists and Minnesota snapped an eight-game road losing streak, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 100-92 on Monday night.
“We needed that bad, man,” Ridnour said.
He made a critical 3-pointer with 1:43 left and scored 13 points in the fourth quarter for the banged-up Timberwolves, who hadn’t won on the road since Jan. 3 — star center Kevin Love’s last game before he was lost indefinitely with a broken hand.
Nikola Pekovic added 16 points and 10 rebounds as Minnesota ended a four-game skid and improved to 4-16 since losing Love.
“It’s been a long month for us,” Ridnour said. “It’s always tough. We’re competitors. You want to win games. Losing, as much as you don’t want to say it, takes a toll on you. This is a good one for us.”
Kyrie Irving scored 20 points and Tristan Thompson had 16 for the Cavs, who were within 82-81 in the fourth before Ridnour sparked a 10-2 run by the Timberwolves. Minnesota shot 75 percent (12 of 16) in the fourth quarter, leaving Cleveland swingman C.J. Miles to call out his teammates.
“We basically did it to ourselves,” he said. “They made some tough shots — don’t take anything away from them — but for the most part, we gave the game to them. We just don’t get it. It was just a poor effort from the start. It just didn’t look like we were interested.”
Cavs coach Byron Scott was at a loss to explain perhaps his team’s worst loss this season.
“I’m baffled,” Scott said. “We had a little adversity and we scattered. We didn’t come together.”