The year is 2014. The date is April 11. The day started as any day did. But it would not end as routinely. The 2014 Corey Brewer magic show was about to begin. NBA fans will remember exactly what they were doing when the notification came in on their phone that Corey Brewer scored 51 points in a win against the Houston Rockets. And then they all probably said “Kevin Love who?”
Minnesota didn’t make the playoffs. They were facing a 52-26 Rockets team. Love was out of the lineup. But, something special was about to happen. It’s time to reexamine the 2014 Corey Brewer Magic Show. It made David Blaine look human.
Leading Up to The Game
During the 2013-14 season, Brewer was not a significant impact player. He had just six games of 20+ points. He finished the year averaging 12 per game. It wasn’t like he was the number two option on this team. Generally speaking, his role was to be the glue guy and play strong defense to help the team push the ball off of forced turnovers.
In the four games leading up to the matchup with Houston, Brewer scored 50 points combined. He totaled 12, 15, 14, and nine respectively. He wasn’t looking to do too much, taking fewer than 10 shots in all of those games. So, when news broke that Kevin Love wasn’t going to be suiting up against Houston, he just decided his time was going to come.
Minnesota was already out of playoff contention, as the battle for the #8 seed featured two teams in Phoenix and Dallas that were well over .500. So, with all of the pressure off, the incentive was to play hard, and to show out for the other 29 teams ahead of free agency. Time to talk about the magic show that was Corey Brewer’s night.
The 51-Point Night
Before even talking about Brewer’s performance, it’s important to note who else was playing for Minnesota. He was joined by Robbie Hummel, Dante Cunningham, Gorgui Dieng and Ricky Rubio in the starting lineup. It appeared coming in that the team would certainly lose. But, Brewer got off to a hot start, scoring 16 points on 7-8 shooting in the first quarter.
The second quarter was an exciting battle between Chandler Parsons (5-5, 13 pts) and Brewer (4-7, 10 points). Corey was the only Wolves player with more than two points in the frame. They got bench minutes from Ronny Turiaf, JJ Barea, and Luc Mbah a Moute, none of who found much rhythm in the game. At the break, Brewer has already put up 26 points, which was one off of his season-high.
Brewer played the entire third quarter, shooting 4-7 from the floor and adding 10 more points. Again, everybody else struggled, scoring just 13. Minnesota had just 43 points in the second and third quarters combined. Houston deserves credit for that effort, no question. Brewer having 36 points through three might not matter if they lose.
The game would go down to the wire, and would have a very exciting finish. The most notable statistic though, is that Brewer didn’t score any of Minnesota’s final seven points. He eclipsed the 50-point mark by sinking a pair of foul shots with 1:43 left in the contest, giving the team a 105-103 lead. Overtime seemed to be a legitimate possibility after a James Harden tying three with 17 seconds left.
Ricky Rubio tossed the ball to Gorgui Dieng on the ensuing possession, who hit a fall-away shot from about eight feet away with four seconds left. He had no business getting it off, but managed to make it. Corey Brewer capped off his magnificent performance by stealing the ball from James Harden to seal the victory.
All in all, Brewer finished the day with 51 points on 19-30 shooting. They didn’t have Kevin Love, but it seemed that they didn’t need him. Love would be traded to Cleveland in the offseason, but on this night, he was a superfan of his magnificent teammate.
For a player averaging 12 points per contest to put up 50+, is truly magic. This was the 2014 Corey Brewer Magic Show. To quote from Disney’s Cory In The House intro, “Go Cor(e)y. Go Cor(e)y. Go.
Thank You for Reading
I hope everybody enjoyed my second Flashback Friday piece, reliving Corey Brewer’s superb evening in 2014. He retired recently, so I was feeling nostalgic about that crazy night.
There are plenty more throwback articles to come. I’m just getting started.