Trans. Dec 18 8:49 ET (Dec 18 8:49 ET ) MINNEAPOLIS -- For nearly two days the Timberwolves had fumed over a hard-to-swallow loss in Boston. Forward Kevin Love finished one assist shy of a triple-double and center Nikola Pekovic finished one point shy of his career best in a 120-109 victory over a Portland team playing its fourth game in five nights. Love had 29 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists and Pekovic hit 14 of 19 shots for 30 points for the Wolves, who built a huge lead early then held off a spirited 3-point-fueled comeback attempt by the Blazers (22-5), whose five-game winning streak came to an end. With exquisite ball movement and relentless pounding inside, the Wolves (13-13) built a 32-point lead in the second quarter, still led by 26 at halftime, then endured a comeback led by guards Damian Lillard (36 points) and Nicolas Batum (20) and forward LaMarcus Aldridge (15).
Kevin Love worked all summer long to put an injury plagued season behind him and reclaim his spot as the best power forward in the league. LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trail Blazers is one of the players standing in his way. In their first head-to-head matchup of the season, Love pounced on a road-weary Aldridge and grabbed Round 1. Love had 29 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists to outshine Aldridge in the Minnesota Timberwolves' 120-109 victory over Portland on Wednesday night.
Nikola Pekovic put up 30 points and added 9 rebounds, while Kevin Love added 29 points and 15 rebounds to help the Minnesota Timberwolves defeat the Portland Trail Blazers, 120-109. The Timberwolves played an efficient game offensively, shooting 46-93 (49.5%) from the field and turning it over just 10 times. Minnesota (13-13) picked up the win after falling to Boston Celtics on Monday. Minnesota also got solid performances from Kevin Martin with 22 points and 5 rebounds, and J.J. Barea with 10 points and 5 assists.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Forward Kevin Love came one assist short of his first career triple-double and center Nikola Pekovic scored a season-high 30 points as the Timberwolves downed visiting Portland 120-109 Wednesday night at Target Center.
A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.
C : Squeeze the Orange . Kevin Love's outlet passing has received its fair share of praise lately, but as Adrien Kaeslin sees it — and demonstrates — it's a notable advancement as a passer out of both the high and low post that has made the Minnesota Timberwolves power forward one of the game's most versatile and dangerous offensive players through the first quarter of the season.
PF : National Post and Nothing But Net . Eric Koreen on how the Toronto Raptors' import of slow-but-savvy point guard Greivis Vasquez (and the potential export of Kyle Lowry) could result in a harmonious pick-and-roll marriage with strong screen-setter Amir Johnson, whom Doug Smith identifies as "the guys [Raptors fans will] truly remember and appreciate; guys whose effort and personalities made them stand out."
SF : Sports Illustrated and ESPN the Magazine ($) . Lee Jenkins, Brian Windhorst, Tom Haberstroh, the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs revisit the final 29 seconds of Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals. It is worth your time to do the same.
After missing the first nine games last year with a broken hand, Kevin Love struggled when he returned, shooting just 35.2 percent from the field, including 21.7 percent from behind the arc. Despite averaging 18.3 ppg and 14.0 rpg (which would have easily led the league had he qualified), Love was just the 171st most valuable fantasy player on a per game basis. He only managed 18 games before re-fracturing his right hand, ending his season right after the new year. Fantasy owners (rightfully) were unconcerned with the lost season, as Love was drafted aggressively entering this year, often in the top-five, and he’s rewarded those in a big way so far, as offseason surgery completely fixed the hand issue. Love leads the NBA with 22 double-doubles, and the big man has been especially impressive of late, averaging 27.8 ppg, 13.3 rpg and 3.7 3PT in December. He now has more 40-point games (five) than Kevin Garnett had during his entire tenure in Minnesota. Love also has seven games of 25 points and 15 rebounds this year. To put that into perspective, Dwight Howard has one such game. Love will never be a very good shot blocker, but it’s hard to argue with someone leading the NBA in rebounds per game while also averaging 4.0 apg and a whopping 2.5 3PT who’s center eligible. Love leads the league with 21.1 rebounding chances per game, but his contested rebound percentage (39.4) is higher than Howard (34.5), DeMarcus Cousins (33.3), Nikola Vucevic (32.4) and LaMarcus Aldridge (30.1). In other words, Love may be getting a high volume of opportunities on the glass, but he’s as efficient or better than most of the league-leaders in the category - the true standouts here are Roy Hibbert (48.1), Anthony Davis (46.3) and Andre Drummond (45.6). It all counts the same in fantasy anyway, where Love is currently the No. 5 ranked player, and that’s without considering position scarcity.
Here’s a high school player making a ridiculous behind-the-back shot .
Here’s DeAndre Jordan sticking an alley oop attempt on the rim .
Here’s Roy Hibbert revealing some unexpected information about why he played angry Friday night .
BOSTON When watching Kevin Love on TV or video, the man is an impressive talent.Seeing him up close?Even better.But as good as Love is, his play - at least on Monday night - wasn't good enough as the Boston Celtics came away with a 101-97 win over the Timberwolves.Love had a very Love-ly kind of game with 27 points and 14 rebounds, both game highs.But the Celtics' defenders made him into a high-volume shooter, forcing him to take 26 shots (nine of which he made) in order to net 27 points. ...
BOSTON Down the stretch of Boston's game against Minnesota, the undersized, 3-point shooting big man took over - and his name wasn't Kevin Love. It was Celtics big man Jared Sullinger whose inside-out play in the most pivotal moments on Monday night's 101-97 win, swung the game's momentum - and its outcome - in Boston's favor. Sullinger led all Celtics with 23 points to go with 11 rebounds. After the score was tied at 92, Sullinger scored seven of the Celtics' final nine points for the win.
Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens suggested to forward Jared Sullinger that he might want to keep an eye on Kevin Love and try to learn whatever he could from the Timberwolves big man. For one quarter on Monday night, Sullinger schooled the Minnesota all-star. Sullinger had 15 points and six rebounds in the fourth, hitting a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 2:22 left and the Celtics held on to beat the Timberwolves 101-97. Sullinger, a second-year player who missed half of last season, had 24 points and 11 rebounds in all while adding a career-high five assists.
The Scoop: None.
Dec 16 7:51 ET
News (various sources)
Bryant has broken bone in knee - Lakers (AFP) (1 Day Ago | courtesy: AFP) Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant has a broken bone in his left knee and is expected to miss six weeks, the NBA team said Thursday. "You hate it for Kobe," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said in remarks posted on the team's Twitter feed. Bryant missed the first 19 games of the season as he continued to recover from surgery to repair a torn left Achilles tendon suffered in April. The Lakers, who host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, were already battling a bevy of injuries. More...