Love hurting, will miss trip

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 24, 2011 - 12:16 AM

While the star forward stays behind, Anthony Randolph will get a chance.

Wolves forward Kevin Love (42)

Photo: Jim Urquhart, Associated Press

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Kevin Love stayed behind because of that injured groin when the Wolves left Wednesday on a two-game trip, and the team will be without the NBA's leading rebounder Thursday at Dallas and Friday at Oklahoma City.

Wolves coach Kurt Rambis said newly acquired Anthony Randolph will start at Love's power-forward spot.

"It's a good opportunity for him," Rambis said.

Randolph didn't play a second in Friday's loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles, then played 24 minutes and scored 14 points in Sunday's dreadful home loss to Sacramento.

His playing time has varied depending upon matchups. When he faced big and/or muscular opponents such as Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol, Randolph has played little or not at all.

Love did not practice at all Wednesday. Instead, he held an ice bag on his upper left thigh for an injury he says he first sustained last week in a game at Utah.

Love already this season has recorded the NBA's longest double-double streak -- 53 games -- since the 1976 NBA/ABA merger.

He won't have to worry about the league rebounding title -- his 15.4 rebounds leads runner-up Dwight Howard's 14.3 a game -- if the injury lingers. He already has reached one of two minimums needed to qualify to be rebound king: 70 games played or 800 rebounds reached.

He has 1.096 rebounds in those 71 games played and needs 44 more -- or about two games, the way his season has gone -- to surpass Kevin Garnett's franchise record for most in a season.

Garnett had 1,139 during his 2003-04 MVP season, when the Wolves reached the Western Conference finals.

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