MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Wolves, Wild both win Tuesday night
MINNEAPOLIS -- Kevin Love and Kevin Martin carried the Timberwolves to a 109-99 victory against the Lakers at the Target Center. Kevin Love posted 31 points and 17 rebounds, while Kevin Martin paced Minnesota with 32 points and four from behind the arc. The T'wolves snapped a two-game losing streak. Steve Nash and Steve Blake each returned to the lineup for Los Angeles. Nash put up seven points and nine assists in 25 minutes. Blake didn't score, but had six assists, five rebounds and three steals before leaving with an ear injury. Jodie Meeks also left in the first quarter with a banged up ankle. LA lost its seven consecutive contest.
The Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx announced a plan to open a new practice facility across the street from Target Center in Block E. In addition to the practice facility, the team is partnering with Mayo Clinic, who will operate a sports medicine clinic adjacent to the practice space. The teams and the clinic will occupy the third level, which was formerly a movie theater. The Timberwolves and Lynx currently practice in the Target Center below the ground level, with two floors between the practice space and the locker rooms. The practice space is part of the Lifetime Fitness center in Target Center. The new training center will have two basketball courts, with the Timberwolves and Lynx each having a primary court. It will include additional offices for coaches, scouts and staff, as well as expanded training and workout areas. The space will be accessible to the community with the practice courts being available for youth basketball programs and games.
Darcy Kuemper stopped 34 shots and Dany Heatley netted the deciding goal early in the third period, as Minnesota escaped with a 2-1 decision over Tampa Bay at Xcel Energy Center. Nino Niederreiter also tallied and Jared Spurgeon assisted twice for the Wild, who returned from a four-game road trip by halting a two-game slide. Valtteri Filppula scored and Ben Bishop made 24 saves for the Lightning, who dropped three of four on their just-completed four-game road swing.
Last night the Wild got some good news on the injury front as defenseman Jared Spurgeon returned to action after missing 14 straight games with a broken foot. Not only did he return but he delivered the primary assist on each of the Wild goals scored in the 2-1 win over Tampa Bay. Perfect timing as just two minutes into the game his defensive partner Marco Scandella left the game with a lower body injure and did not return. His status for Thursday as of now remains unclear. As for forward Mikko Koivu, his return to the line up is doubtful before the Olympic break but head coach Mike Yeo said Tuesday morning that if Koivu gets medical clearance the Wild will not stand in his way to represent the Finns. Koivu has been out since January 7th with a broken ankle.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are at Indiana tonight for a Big Ten showdown with the Purdue Boilermakers. The Gophers have lost two in-a-row following Saturday's 55-54 home setback to Northwestern. Minnesota sits at 15-and-7 on the year and 4-and-5 in conference play. Purdue has lost four in-a-row to dip to 13-and-9 and 3-and-6. Tonight's game tips off at 7:30 p.m. The Gophers return home to host Indiana on Saturday night.
Thousands of high school recruits are set to commit to colleges today for National Signing Day. Adoree' Jackson, Rashaan Evans, Malachi Dupre, Damian Prince, John Smith and Malik McDowell are among the top recruits that will decide what school to attend today. Rivals.com projects Alabama to have the top-rated prospect class, followed by Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas A&M and defending BCS champion Florida State. LSU, Florida, Notre Dame, Auburn and Miami are also primed to crack the top-ten
Gophers head coach Jerry Kill is poised and ready to make a big splash today in the National Signing Day as his team is said to be putting together it's best recruiting class of Kill's tenure on the U of M campus. One name to watch for is Minneapolis Washburn running back Jeff Jones. He verbally committed to the U last February but left his options open. One of the biggest holes to fill will be at wide receiver. The action will continue throughout the day with Kill addressing the media around 4 p.m.
With the Super Bowl in the rear-view mirror, many fans are looking towards spring training. Twins pitchers and catchers report to Fort Myers on February 16th with a first official workout set for the following day. Twins position players are mandated to report by February 21st with their first workout set for February 22nd.