The Latest – February 29, 2012 29 Feb 12

Williams, Beasley Lead Wolves Past Clippers
(Los Angeles, CA) — Derrick Williams and Michael Beasley each scored 27 points off the bench as the Timberwolves beat the Clippers, 109-97, Tuesday night at Staples Center. Minnesota outscored L.A., 36-21, in the fourth quarter and had a season-high 27 assists. Ricky Rubio dished out nine helpers and J.J. Barea added seven assists. The Wolves’ 72 bench points are the most in the NBA this season. All-Star forward Kevin Love got in foul trouble early and finished with ten points and seven rebounds. Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 30 points but only had one point in the fourth. The 18-and-17 Timberwolves play the Lakers in the same arena tonight.

Gophers Fall At Wisconsin
(Madison, WI) — The University of Minnesota men’s basketball team is on a six-game losing streak following a 52-45 setback at number-15 Wisconsin. The Golden Gophers shot just 23-point-nine-percent and were held to a season-low in points. Minnesota led 23-16 at the half before the Badgers pulled away after coach Tubby Smith was called for a technical on what appeared to be a foul on a three-point attempt by Andre Hollins. The freshman point guard scored 18 points, Rodney Williams added 11 and nine rebounds and Ralph Sampson III had eight points, seven boards and five blocks to become the 37th player to reach one-thousand career points at Minnesota. Twin Cities native Jordan Taylor scored a game-high 22 points for Wisconsin. The Gophers close out the Big Ten season Saturday at home versus Nebraska.

Kings Shut Out Wild
(St.Paul, MN) — The Kings scored three first-period goals in a 4-0 shutout of the Wild at the Xcel Energy Center last night. L.A. only needed 44 seconds to light the lamp and finished with a total of 15 shots. Nicklas Backstrom made just eleven saves for Minnesota while L.A. backup goalie Jonathan Bernier stopped all 26 shots he faced. Wild head coach Mike Yeo says they had nothing offensively. Newly acquired defenseman Tom Gilbert of Bloomington made his Wild debut and had the team’s best scoring chance on a three-on-two break in the second period. Wild G-M Chuck Fletcher confirmed that captain Mikko Koivu has a shoulder injury that will keep him out of action for another two weeks. Minnesota travels to Montreal tomorrow night and Detroit on Friday.

Rams To Deal #2 Draft Pick
(St.Louis, MO) — The St.Louis Rams plan to trade the second overall pick in the NFL Draft according to ESPN. That means the Vikings might not get to make a blockbuster deal with the number-three pick on draft day. Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III is expected to be the second pick behind Stanford QB Andrew Luck. USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil will likely be number-three overall and Minnesota needs to help protecting Christian Ponder’s blind side. Vikings G-M Rick Spielman has said he would consider trading their selection to accumulate more first-round picks. The 2012 NFL Draft begins April 26th.

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