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News » Minnesota Timberwolves Getting Inside 2009-11-21


Minnesota Timberwolves Getting Inside 2009-11-21


Minnesota Timberwolves Getting Inside 2009-11-21Al Jefferson returned to the Timberwolves Monday ready to play Wednesday.

Gone from the team for nearly a week, Jefferson made his first eight shots and delivered his second double-double of the season with a 20-point, 10-rebound game in a home loss to Houston, the Wolves' 11th consecutive after a season-opening victory.

Jefferson missed losses Friday to Dallas and Saturday at Memphis while he left the team bound for Florida to see his grandmother one last time.

"I got the chance to see her before she died," Jefferson said after Monday's practice. "She died 30 minutes after I got there. That was good for her and me. She told my auntie four days before she died that she was just waiting on me."

Annie Bell Randolph died Thursday afternoon in Fort Lauderdale. She was 83.

"Luckily, I got there just in time," he said. "Thanks to my team, my coach, my GM for understanding and making me feel really comfortable, because at first I didn't want to leave. I was going to wait until Sunday, when we had the day off. Coach let me know it's real important that family come first. It made me feel good about leaving. I'm glad I did."

His arrival earlier Thursday gave him the chance to say goodbye to the woman who raised him.

"Both my grandmothers raised me," Jefferson said. "My daddy died when I was a baby. She met me the day of my daddy's funeral, and she took me in that day. Been with me ever since, 24 years.

"She was the reason why I am the man I am today."

The Wolves sent player-development assistant coach Darrick Martin and a conditioning coach to Florida to work him out every day while he was gone.

"If something like that is weighing on a player's mind, I just believe it's so important to go," Wolves coach Kurt Rambis said. "Especially when you're dealing with family members who had such a huge impact on your life. You've got to do what's right. I just think it was right for him to go spend time with his grandmother."

ROCKETS 97, WOLVES 84: The Wolves lost their 11th consecutive game and now are two away from tying the franchise record for worst start to a season.

The 1994-95 team opened 1-13 in a season when they went 21-61 and used the draft's fifth pick to select a high-school kid named Kevin Garnett the next summer.

Trailing 10 points in the third quarter, Ramon Sessions led a group mostly of reserves on a 13-3 run that briefly gave the Wolves a one-point lead before the Rockets pulled away with a 29-17 fourth quarter.

The Rockets played with more energy and skill just one night after losing at home to Phoenix while the Wolves hadn't played since losing at Memphis on Saturday.

Sessions and reserve forward Oleksiy Pecherov combined to score 28 points. Take away Al Jefferson's 20-point, 10-rebound double-double and those two Wolves reserves outscored the team's other four starters combined (28-26).


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 21, 2009

 

 
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