Minnesota trailed by just five going into the fourth quarter, but the Clippers simply wore down the Timberwolves with their depth. Bledsoe scored only two points, but Crawford's 3-pointer with 5 minutes to go gave Los Angeles a 13-point lead and the short-handed Wolves simply faded away.
"We want the starters to be comfortable enough that when they come out of the game they don't have to worry," Crawford said. "I think when they come out of the game we should extend the lead and they will be fresher down the season because of it."
Pekovic was injured while getting tangled with Griffin under the basket in the third quarter and Alexey Shved rolled his left ankle midway through the final period, the latest in an incredible pile of injuries for the Wolves this season. Kevin Love is out for two months with a right hand that is broken for the second time this season, Brandon Roy may not play at all this season with recurring knee problems, Chase Budinger is out until March with a knee injury and Josh Howard and Malcolm Lee are both lost for the season with injuries.
Head coach Rick Adelman missed his sixth straight game while tending to his sick wife.
"It's hard," acting head coach Terry Porter said. "It's really hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel but we have to keep working towards getting better and whoever we have we just have to come out and play hard."
NOTES: Paul and Griffin were voted starters for the Western Conference in the All-Star game. ... The Timberwolves held a moment of silence for Minnesota Lynx COO Conrad Smith, who died after a long battle with cancer on Wednesday night. Smith also worked for the Timberwolves, Twins and North Stars over the years. "Simply put, Conrad is irreplaceable," Timberwolves and Lynx president Chris Wright said. ... The Wolves agreed to terms with F Mickael Gelabale of France, who planned to join the team on Friday. ... Turiaf, a 38 percent free throw shooter this season, drew jeers when he airballed a freebie in the fourth quarter.
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