In a heartbreaking loss, the Timberwolves lost to the Los Angeles Clippers AKA “Lob City” 109-107. This game was the second of a back to back in the Staples Center for the Wolves, and with Rick Adelman playing the starters for the majority of both games, fatigue definitely played a factor in the loss.
Kevin Love had another huge game for the Wolves flirting with a triple double just as his teammate Ricky Rubio got last time out against the Lakers. Love had 23 points, 19 rebounds, and 7 assists. This game kept him in this season’s MVP race. Kevin Martin does what he does best scoring 30 points along with 3 assists, 1 rebound, and 1 steal, while also shooting 4-8 from downtown. Nikola Pekovic was also a huge factor in the game, exploding for 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 1 steal on an impressive 11-15 shooting from the field.
Blake Griffin did his best Kevin Love impression this game going for 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. DeAndre Jordan had a solid game recording 14 points, 11 rebounds. Chris Paul exploded for 21 points, 11 assists , 4 rebounds, and 4 steals. Off the bench, Jamal Crawford played 31 minutes, and went off for 18 points, 6 assists, and 2 rebounds.
Kevin Love and Blake Griffin battled throughout the first half exchanging buckets back and forth. The minute Blake Griffin posted up Love and scored, Love would fire back with a three right in Blake’s face. It was an intense battle, and also eye-opening to see Griffin and Love’s opposite styles of play go head to head.
This game came down to the very end, and the Timberwolves simply couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities. The Timberwolves were down 2 and had the ball on the final possession. The ball was inbounded to Kevin Love, who quickly passed it to Kevin Martin. Martin then drove to the left side of the court and tried to draw a foul. Martin could not capitalize on the mismatch of DeAndre Jordan guarding him. Jordan didn’t bite on any of Martin’s fakes, and Martin ended up throwing up an ugly looking jump shot. The ball clanged off the rim into Nikola Pekovic’s hand. He tried to flip the ball into the basket from 6 feet away and could not capitalize. Kevin Love attempted a tip in off of Peko’s miss in the final seconds and it rimmed out. Simply put, the last possession was not executed well, and Pekovic and Love both had easy shots that rimmed out. It was a disappointing end to a good game of basketball, between two elite Western Conference teams.
Again the Timberwolves starters played heavy minutes, with each starter playing above 34 minutes in the game. As a consequence of this, the bench could only muster 17 points for the Wolves. I am questioning Adelman’s logic in playing the starters 34-39 minutes per game as it could cause consequences later in the season.
The Timberwolves (5-3) face off against, against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Target Center on Wednesday Night at 7:00 PM Central Time.