MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kevin Martin’s 37-point effort against the New York Knicks on Wednesday night just got even more impressive.
Martin played the final three and a half quarters of that game with a fractured wrist on his shooting hand, the Minnesota Timberwolves announced Friday hours before hosting San Antonio. He is out indefinitely.
Martin injured his right wrist with 6:48 to play in the first quarter when he was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer. From that point on, Martin went on to score 34 points and make 6 of 9 3s in the 115-99 victory that snapped a five-game losing streak.
“We’ve just got to come out and play with the guys we have,” coach Flip Saunders said before the Wolves hosted the Spurs. “It gives guys opportunities and we’ve just got to try to keep on improving individually and we’ve got to try to keep on improving as a team.”
Martin was actually a game-time decision that night after needing IV fluids while battling an illness for most of the day. He made no mention of the injury in his postgame remarks to the media.
“I realize the situation and after the guys worked so hard after the horrible road trip we had,” Martin said after the game. “Coach challenged us in practice. There was never a thought to not playing. You have to get out there with your teammates and show them that you’re dedicated to being here.”
It’s yet another crushing blow for a seemingly snake-bitten franchise that has not made the playoffs in 10 years and is rebuilding after trading All-Star Kevin Love this summer.
The Wolves are already playing without starting point guard Ricky Rubio, who is out indefinitely with a sprained left ankle, starting center Nikola Pekovic, who will miss at least the next two games with a sprained right wrist and starting power forward Thaddeus Young, who is mourning the sudden passing of his mother.
On a team starving for offense, Martin was the best thing the Wolves had going. He scored 34 in a defeat in Dallas that ended a six-game road trip and then got the Wolves off to a great start against the Knicks with 13 points in the first quarter.
Martin is averaging 20.4 points and shooting 48.1 percent on 3-pointers this season.
The Wolves have not yet determined if Martin will need surgery to address the injury. Veteran Corey Brewer and youngster Shabazz Muhammad figure to get the bulk of the minutes in Martin’s place.
The Wolves had just 10 healthy players for the game against the Spurs. Pekovic will be evaluated again early next week. If it’s deemed that he will be out at least another 10 days, Saunders said the Wolves could be granted a roster exception and add another player without having to move someone from their 15-player roster.
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