Love moves on quickly minus weight of streak

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 15, 2011 - 1:35 AM

On the day after, Timberwolves forward Kevin Love smiled and told everybody not to weep for him.

Wolves forward Kevin Love

Photo: Ben Margot, Associated Press

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SAN FRANCISCO - On the day after, Timberwolves forward Kevin Love smiled and told everybody not to weep for him.

"With the way people were texting me last night, you would have thought a family member died," he said after practice on Monday. "They were like, 'So sorry, if you need to talk to anybody...' I was like, what are they talking about? I feel great. I'm in great spirits."

Love's 53-game double-double streak -- the league's longest since the 1976 ABA/NBA merger -- ended Sunday night at Golden State with a six-point, 12-rebound game. That was his first game without double-digit numbers in both categories since Nov. 19.

"That's a long time ago," he said. "It's going to be interesting to see whether in five, 10, 20 years from now, anybody will contend with that or not. We'll see."

That's not the only question posed by the end of a streak that surpassed Moses Malone's 51-game streak but didn't nearly approach Wilt Chamberlain's 227 consecutive games.

How 'bout this one: What's ESPN going to do now?

Answer: Good thing it's NCAA tournament week.

"I'm always watching 'SportsCenter' and it always seemed to be there win or lose," Love said. "I wouldn't say it was a burden, but it's a weight off my shoulders for it to be done. In some ways, I wish it was still going on. But all good things must end. I'm not too worried about it."

Golden State's David Lee limited Love to two offensive rebounds and six field-goal attempts. He made only one of those six. Coach Kurt Rambis removed Love with four minutes left and the Wolves trailing by 22 points on their way to a season-low 77 points in what Rambis called a "team collapse."

"It had gotten to the point in the ballgame where it just wasn't worth it," Rambis said. "Why fabricate trying to keep it going? Every other single game he got them in, he earned it. It wasn't given to him in any way, shape or form. So many games he was putting up just incredible numbers in both categories. It just didn't make any sense to continue it in a false way."

Love said he understood Rambis' decision.

Teammate Michael Beasley said Love's streak never became too much about an individual in a team sport.

"I would say that if we were in the playoffs," Beasley said. "But when you got 17 wins, you got to talk about something to get your mind off the losses. It was great. I think everybody knows that it was great. Some guys haven't gotten 10 double-doubles in their career and he went out and did night after night for 53 games.

"I feel like he's going to shatter that [53-game streak] next year. I feel like next year he can go the whole season with double-doubles."

That next streak starts with just one step.

"I'll start on Wednesday," Love said, referring to a game at Utah.

Ridnour absent

Starting point guard Luke Ridnour missed practice Monday so he could return home to be with his wife and two newborn daughters. He is expected to rejoin the team in time for Wednesday's game in Salt Lake City.

Suit involves ref, reporter

NBA referee William Spooner filed suit Monday seeking more the $75,000 in damages from the Associated Press and AP sports writer Jon Krawczynski, citing defamation resulting from a Jan. 24 statement published on Twitter.com.

Krawczynski's tweet, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, mischaracterized a conversation between Rambis and Spooner during a game between the Wolves and Houston at Target Center. The suit claims Spooner asked the AP to retract the "publication" of the tweet, but that the organization has not responded to that request.

"We believe all of the facts we reported from the game in question were accurate," AP associate general counsel Dave Tomlin said.

The Star Tribune's Mark Wollemann contributed to this report.

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