A season that started with high expectations quickly unraveled for the Minnesota Timberwolves thanks to a bevy of injuries. They are 7-25 since Kevin Love broke his right hand for the second time on Jan. 8. One of the few bright spots during this awful stretch has been Ricky Rubio’s gradual return from a torn knee ligament last March.
Rubio had his first career triple-double on Tuesday with 21 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists, leading the Timberwolves to a 107-83 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. He made 9 of 17 shots and grabbed his 10th board with 9:14 to play in the game, earning a standing ovation from the long-suffering Wolves fans. Alexey Shved broke out of a big slump to score 16 points and Barea had 17 for the Wolves, who hit 12 3-pointers.
”I just try to be aggressive all the time,” Rubio told the Associated Press. ”Stats are the last thing I try to watch. The victory is the most important thing.”
Rubio really turned it on over the last month, and he put an exclamation point on his return against the Spurs. He punctuated the night with a behind-the-back dribble and layup in the fourth, bringing Wolves fans to their feet.
But one Spur wasn’t impressed.
”He alright,” San Antonio forward Stephen Jackson said. ”You know, I mean, I’m into winning championships. I’m not into guys playing alright, averaging 30 and 20 on sorry teams. I’m into winning championships. He got some upside, I’ll say that. But it’s all about winning to me. It’s not about what you do on your personal stats.”
Watch Rubio’s double behind-the-back play: