After digging themselves a 19-point halftime hole, the Minnesota Timberwolves stormed back against the Dallas Mavericks in the second half of Monday night's contest behind the hot hands of star power forward Kevin Love (19 points after intermission) and swingman Corey Brewer (14 second-half points on 6 for 8 shooting) to turn a blowout into a nip-and-tuck battle in the late stages of the fourth quarter. A pair of big 3-pointers by Dallas forward Shawn Marion put the Mavs back on top; six points in the final two minutes by Minnesota center Nikola Pekovic brought the Wolves back within a basket in the closing seconds.
With Dallas up by two and three seconds remaining, Minnesota inbounded for Love, who faced up, drove left and raised up to fire ... only to have the ball knocked away by Marion, sealing a 100-98 Mavericks win. Marion appeared to hit Love's wrist on the play, eliciting strong reactions from Love, Minnesota head coach Rick Adelman, the Timberwolves faithful in attendance at Target Center and many others. The strongest reaction, though, may have belonged to Alan Horton, the Timberwolves' great radio play-by-play man. Do yourself a favor and listen in below:
That's some gooood righteous indignation, right there.
If you're wondering why Horton seemed to harbor specific angst toward the inaction of referee Ed Malloy — "OHHHH, ED MALLOY!!!!" — the announcer took to Twitter after the game to call our attention back to an incident with Malloy in Minny last March, as detailed by Ray Richardson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press:
Adelman is lucky he wasn't told to follow [J.J.] Barea to the locker room during a tense moment in the fourth quarter Monday night, March 4, at Target Center.
The veteran coach was aiming a mouthful of obscenities at referee Ed Malloy after Barea drew a Flagrant Foul 2 penalty, an automatic ejection, for knocking Heat guard Ray Allen to the floor while Allen was driving to the basket.
Barea called it a "little bump," but it angered Allen and nearly touched off a brawl. Malloy and referees Mark Ayotte and Olandis Poole had a much different opinion after reviewing the play.
Barea's exit with 8:09 left slowed a Wolves rally and gave Miami an opening to pull away for a 97-81 victory before a crowd of 18,391. [...]
The Barea-Allen incident began a fateful stretch in the quarter that seemed to magnify the Wolves' season. On the Wolves' next two possessions, Alexey Shved and Dante Cunningham were charged with offensive fouls, igniting the loudest chorus of boos this season in Target Center.
I'm not sure if Monday's final-play whistle-swallowing led to the loudest round of jeers at Minnesota's home arena this season, but luckily for us, it did lead to a pretty great bit of radio gold.
Hat-tip to Tom Ziller at SB Nation.
- - - - - - -