Love's streak crashes in Oakland

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 14, 2011 - 8:31 AM

What's worse, his run of 53 double-double games ended in the worst way, with a blowout loss.


The Wolves' Kevin Love, right, faced stiff defense from David Lee and other Warriors players as he fell short of extending his double-double streak.

Photo: Ben Margot, Associated Press

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OAKLAND, CALIF. - As both the English poet Chaucer and the British folk group Chad and Jeremy declared so many years apart, all good things must end someday, and so went Kevin Love's 53-game double-double streak in Sunday's disheartening 100-77 loss at Golden State.

Love had reached double figures in points and rebounds every game since Nov. 19 until he came to the bench with four minutes left Sunday with six points, 12 rebounds and his team trailing by 22 points.

"It was a good run," Love said afterward. "I'm not too upset that the streak has come to an end. More than anything, it felt like a tough loss."

Coming off the franchise's first consecutive 20-point victories since 2001, the Wolves came west for the start of a three-game trip and delivered a stinker.

A team that had moved the ball so well in home victories over Indiana and Utah on Sunday committed 26 turnovers. The Wolves also scored a season-low 77 points against a Warriors team that had surrendered nearly 106 points a game this season.

"We just didn't shoot the ball particularly well, including myself," said Love, who made just one of six shots from the field and four of six free throws. "We shot too many outside shots and turned the ball over. That's why the streak came to an end."

When these two teams played at Target Center late last month, Love had 37 points and 23 rebounds. That was one of three 30/20 games he had during a streak that surpassed Moses Malone for the league's longest since the 1976 ABA/NBA merger but well short of the 227-game streak Wilt Chamberlain once achieved.

"No, it's not surprising," Love said when asked about the disparity between his last two games against the Warriors. "It could have happened against anybody."

Golden State had David Lee front and deny Love the ball all night, and the Warriors then collapsed around him when he did get it.

Afterward, Warriors coach Keith Smart said Lee's sole job was defensive.

"He had one objective, and that was to make sure he doesn't get to the glass," Smart said after Lee scored only eight points but limited Love to two offensive rebounds.

When asked if he thought about leaving Love on the floor in the final four minutes of such a blowout loss so he could get four more points (or five more assists), Rambis said: "The game got out of control. We tried sometimes to get the ball inside to him and we just weren't successful. I wasn't going to leave him out there as the game deteriorated."

The always-knowledgeable Oracle Arena crowd cheered him as he came to the bench, and Love received fist bumps all around from his teammates and assistant coaches.

"I understood it," Love said. "Bill [Laimbeer] and Reggie [Theus] shook my hand. I was happy about it. It's OK. If we were winning and I was getting this, it'd mean a lot more."

Instead, Love nodded his head affirmatively when asked if he felt any relief because a streak that has generated so much television talk and acclaim was finally over.

"Now I can just focus on playing my game," he said. "I was still doing it for myself, but a lot of it was for fans and everybody who wanted to watch me get those double doubles. I feel pretty happy with what I did. I don't think we should look at it as the streak came to an end.

"It's time to reflect on what I did and how I continue to prosper in this league."


• Wolves big man Anthony Randolph on Sunday came back to Oracle Arena, where he played his first two NBA seasons. "A lot of good memories here," he said. "I love the Bay."

• Randolph also said Sunday was the first time he has felt close to normal after falling ill last week. He said he still isn't sure if he got food poisoning or some kind of virus.

• Michael Beasley started at small forward and appeared fine. He missed Saturday's practice because of a stiff neck.

• The Wolves will stay in San Francisco and practice Monday and Tuesday before flying to Salt Lake City late Tuesday afternoon for Wednesday's game against the Jazz.


    Up next: At Utah • 8 p.m. Wednesday • TV: FSN (1130-AM)

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