Love: Double-double streak is distraction

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 24, 2011 - 1:29 PM

Timberwolf forward Kevin Love

Photo: David Brewster, Star Tribune

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Timberwolves fans came to Target Center, they saw and ... then they left after Kevin Love reached his 44th consecutive double-double game late in Wednesday's 104-95 loss to Memphis.

They cheered -- the loudest all night -- when Love finally got his 10th rebound in a 15-point, 11-rebound night. Then many headed directly for the exits with three minutes left in a game whose outcome was decided long before then.

This is what the Wolves' season has come to: Counting off Love's individual accomplishment while they continue to lose lifelessly. This time, the Wolves lost their sixth consecutive game and their 20th in 24 games. They trailed by as many as 15 points on a night when Anthony Tolliver missed a wide-open dunk and Darko Milicic missed a bunny of a layup that he easily could have slammed.

Somebody asked Wolves coach Kurt Rambis whether Love's streak -- which on Wednesday tied Moses Malone for the longest one in the NBA in the past 30 years -- is becoming more of a bother than it's worth.

"It's probably forefront in a lot of people's mind, but it's not in my mind," Rambis said. "I've just never been a stat guy. It's become prevalent in the news because of what's gone on here. If it wasn't, you probably couldn't tell me the last person and what their streak was because nobody cares, right?"

Love said he knew he was approaching another double-double. His streak dates to a scoreless game against the Lakers on Nov. 19.

"Everybody in the whole crowd was yelling it," he said. "In some ways, I was like, 'OK. I'd love to tie this thing.' But in a lot of ways, I was like, 'I just wish this thing would end so I could go out there and just start playing again.' In some ways, it's become a distraction and in some ways, I just need to get past it. It's part of the maturity process, getting past it and keep playing."

Clock is ticking

The NBA's trade deadline arrives Thursday afternoon, and the Wolves on Wednesday night remained active trying to seek another trade before time is up.

The most-likely possibilities:

• They trade point guard Jonny Flynn for a mid- to late- first round pick this summer or package him in a bigger deal for a young player.

• They use their ample salary cap space to take a player -- quite possibly a veteran player who can help lead a young team -- from a team seeking to shed salary and/or decrease luxury-tax penalties. Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday reported one such player in which the Wolves have interest: veteran Utah guard Raja Bell.

• They try to acquire a player by shipping Eddy Curry's expiring $11.2 million salary to a team looking to cut salary, a move David Kahn has admitted will be tough to pull off.

Etc.

• Rest easy: Love was talking in a normal voice following the game rather than a falsetto after he got kneed by Zach Randolph in a sensitive spot. Their collision that left Love doubled over in pain in the fourth quarter. "Did you see the slo-mo?" Love asked. "Was there a slo-mo? Oh, man, that hurt so bad."

• The Wolves lost one 7-footer Tuesday when they traded Kosta Koufos but added one Wednesday when Michael Beasley stepped onto the court sporting a voluminous Afro. "When they said 6-8, I said, 'No, he's about 7 foot with that 'fro," Tolliver said. "He had another 3, 4 inches on him after that."

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    Freed from the "hell" of the Knicks bench, former lottery pick Anthony Randolph looks forward to renewing his career with the Wolves.

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