Another game won, another All-Star power forward dominated, Kevin Love stepped to the postgame television interview and delivered a bold statement.
“This is my time right now,” Love proclaimed.
It’s getting harder and harder to argue with that.
Love had 39 points and 17 rebounds to carry the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 95-94 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.
Darko Milicic had 13 points in a spot start for the injured Nikola Pekovic and Michael Beasley scored all nine of his points in the fourth quarter for the Wolves. But it was Love, the All-Star, 3-point shootout champion and perhaps budding MVP candidate, who put this young improving team on his back and willed them over the .500 mark at 20-19.
He hit a jumper in Kenyon Martin’s face with 1:28 to play, then added what proved to be the game winner by bulling himself to the basket for a little flip shot that has become one of his staples…
Love went 8 for 11 at the line and 5 for 10 from 3-point range and scored nine points on 4-for-6 shooting with four rebounds in the fourth. The versatility and shot-making set him apart from Clippers star Blake Griffin, who had a heck of a game of his own.
Griffin had 26 points and 12 rebounds, but scored just four in the final period. He only took two shots in the period, went 0 for 4 at the line and picked up a costly technical foul when he jawed at referee Ken Mauer after pulling Luke Ridnour to the floor in one of the game’s many collisions near the basket.
— Reported by Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press