Feb 12, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio (9) controls the ball away from Denver Nuggets power forward Darrell Arthur (00) in the first half at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Wolves head to All-Star break with easy win over Nuggets, 117-90


It doesn’t get much more Wolvesian than this, does it?

In true 2013-14 Minnesota Timberwolves fashion, they came out and won a game by completely and utterly destroying their opponent. While the Denver Nuggets are a team that the Wolves are directly behind in the Western Conference, they’ve been struggling just as much as the Wolves and are actually in a worse spot injury-wise.

But the Wolves did what they needed to do, which hasn’t always been the case this season. They jumped on Denver early, leading 17-3 right out of the gate. The lead ballooned to 24 points in the second quarter before the Nuggets got it to within 61-41 at halftime.

The third quarter was largely the Kevin Love show, as he dropped an array of three-pointers on the visitors, supplementing it with some nice work in the low post and a couple of assists. The Wolves kept the foot on the gas and the Nuggets simply looked like they were already on their All-Star Break.

There really isn’t much to say about this game, other than to marvel at the play of Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio, and the don’t-want-to-be-here-ness of the Denver Nuggets. The Wolves offense was clicking on all cylinders like we haven’t seen in quite some time, and the defense was generally solid.

What hasn’t been said about Love? He put up 32 points on 11 of 20 shooting (6 of 11 on three-pointers), 11 rebounds, and 8 assists. It felt like one long practice round for this weekend’s three-point contest and the All-Star Game for Love, as he handled Kenneth Faried, Darrell Arthur, and Co. with ease.

Rubio played a fantastic first quarter, shooting 4 of 4 from the field and putting up 8 points and 5 assists before getting an elbow to the chin from Randy Foye (no foul was called) and receiving five stitches. He returned late in the second quarter and pretty much picked up where he left off. His defense was stellar all game, smothering Randy Foye and Evan Fournier, and playing a fantastic all-around game. Oh, and he has seven (!!) steals, to go along with 11 points and 12 assists and just one turnover.

The playoff chances are still so fragile and frankly, barely existent. But this was a game that needed to be had against a team that is directly in front of them in the standings. And now, they can hope for the return of both Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic at some point in the next week or two and go from there. Stranger things have happened, I suppose.

But let’s enjoy this one, and hopefully the squad can carry some momentum into the break while they get some much needed rest. The Kevin Love show continues this weekend on Saturday night with the three-ball and on Sunday when he wins All-Star Game MVP. Because that would be just so Timberwolvesy, wouldn’t it?

Tags: Denver Nuggets Kevin Love Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Ricky Rubio