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News » Faith and Foye prevail

Faith and Foye prevail

Faith and Foye prevail
CHICAGO -- On the occasion of the Timberwolves' long-awaited first winning streak of the season -- it's two games and counting after Saturday's 102-92 victory over the Chicago Bulls -- Kevin McHale sounded more evangelist than coach. Which is probably a testament to the corrosiveness of two months of setbacks.

"Everything in life revolves around faith," McHale testified. "You've got to have faith that if they do the right thing, it'll work. You've got to have faith in lots of stuff."

On Saturday, the Wolves placed their faith in an ability to score inside against Chicago's block-happy defense, in Sebastian Telfair's capacity to carry the point-guard load almost by himself, and ultimately in Randy Foye's flair for ... shot-blocking?

Have mercy.

"That was a huge play," Ryan Gomes said of Foye's fingertip defense on a Ben Gordon three-pointer, a deflection that all but ended any chance of Chicago staging a last-second rally like the ones that have plagued Minnesota all season. "It's what we needed."

The Wolves got all sorts of things that they needed to open 2009 on a 2-0 run and improve to 2-13 all time against Chicago without Kevin Garnett on their roster. Five Timberwolves scored between 15 and 21 points. A stubborn aggressiveness inside, in the face of a Chicago defense that piled up 14 blocks, helped build a nine-point advantage at the free-throw line. Telfair, thrust into playing 39 minutes (and often guarding Bulls rookie star Derrick Rose) by Kevin Ollie's elbow injury, produced a heady, steady six-assist, two-steal, 15-point night.

And Foye, who led Minnesota with 21 points, upstaged all those Bulls blocks with his own defensive highlight. The Bulls, who trailed by 13 at one point in the second quarter, had rallied and turned the game into a back-and-forth affair down the stretch. A three-pointer by Gomes opened a 90-84 lead with two minutes to play, and the Bulls went looking for their own three-point specialist.

So did Foye.

Gordon "had just hit a three two possessions before, so I thought he'd get it," Foye said. Sure enough, the ball swung to Gordon in front of his bench, and Foye pounced.

"I tried to jump to the side because I knew he would try to get a foul," Foye said. "I just got my hand up and extended as far as I can."

Just far enough, tipping the ball into the air where Mike Miller could grab it. But Foye's heroics weren't over. He hustled to the other end, where Miller fed Gomes for a fast-break layup that rolled off. Foye flew in, grabbed the ball and laid it off the glass to give the Wolves an insurmountable eight-point lead.

"A couple of big, winning plays," McHale said of the sequence. "(The) block on Gordon was just phenomenal."

A two-game winning streak isn't phenomenal. But it's mildly remarkable, particularly since it follows the biggest collapse in franchise history, a 29-point disaster in Dallas.

"We showed we bounced back and (didn't) have a hangover after that," said Gomes, who finished with 19 points. "We just know what we can do now."

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: January 5, 2009


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