Love joins NBA's show on special All-Star night

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 27, 2012 - 7:28 AM

He scored 17 points and got seven rebounds in an entertaining game that came down to the wire.

ORLANDO — Timberwolves forward Kevin Love rocked a tuxedo to his second consecutive NBA All-Star Game appearance on Sunday night because it was, after all, a very special night.

"It's Oscar night," he said. "I had to look my best."

The Western Conference's surprisingly tense, suddenly entertaining 152-149 victory over the East ultimately proved he was dressed perfectly for the occasion.

"It's show business," Love said.

And Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant, Miami's LeBron James and Dwyane Wade and Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant, among many others, put on the show on a night when the West team led by 20 points with eight minutes remaining but by just one with 22 seconds left.

Owner of a four-year contract extension to stay in Minnesota but an L.A. guy at heart, Love chased his first All-Star double-double only to finish three rebounds shy on Sunday night with his 17-point, seven-rebound game.

Durant took home the Most Valuable Player trophy on the same day Love shipped back to Target Center the shiny piece of hardware he won for beating Durant in the All-Star Saturday Night three-point contest in a tiebreaker shootout.

By the time it was all over, Durant and James had each scored 36 points -- six points shy of Wilt Chamberlain's 50-year-old All-Star record of 42 points -- and Bryant had surpassed Michael Jordan to become the NBA's all-time All-Star scoring leader.

Wade reached the third triple-double in All-Star history, a 24-point, 10-rebound, 10-assist performance that puts him on a short list with James (last year) and Jordan (1997) as the only players to do so.

"It's fun to watch, it's fun to play," Love said after playing 18 1/2 minutes one year after he played less than 12 in his first All-Star Game. "Obviously, it's a high-wire act."

Up on that high wire, the West set an All-Star record by scoring 88 points before halftime, one-tenth of a point more than East coach Tom Thibodeau's Chicago Bulls have allowed per game this season.

"Everybody was saying maybe he'd break a clipboard at halftime or something," said Love, whose team led by 19 points by then.

The game's nature changed when Wade committed a hard foul on Bryant early in the third quarter, hitting him across the nose and drawing blood. "I obviously didn't try to draw no blood, but I took a foul," Wade said. "Kobe fouled me two times in a row, so he's still got one up on me."

The West still led by 20 points early in the fourth quarter before the East scored 12 unanswered points. James made nine of 10 shots and five of his All-Star Game-record-tying six three-pointers in the second half.

The East had its final chances as New Jersey's Deron Williams missed an open three and James threw away a pass with 1.9 seconds left that Bryant chided him for not shooting instead.

"Yeah, he was telling me to shoot it," James said. "Definitely wish I could have that one back."

By then, Love was sitting and watching a game in which he led every single superstar on the floor in plus-minus rating with a plus-16.

"This year I just settled in, felt good, knew that I belonged," he said.

And he rocked that tux, even though he was never nominated for an Oscar.

"Maybe I won best supporting, though," he said.


    Up next for Wolves: 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at Los Angeles Clippers • TV: FSN (830-AM)

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Team Irvin 7:15 PM
Team Carter
Miami 93 4th Qtr 1:14
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 2:30 PM
Dallas 5:00 PM
New Orleans
Indiana 5:00 PM
LA Clippers 5:00 PM
Minnesota 5:00 PM
Detroit 6:00 PM
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Boston 7:00 PM
Golden State
Washington 7:00 PM
Houston 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Team Toews 4:00 PM
Team Foligno
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 57 2nd Half 6:15
Ohio State 66
Stony Brook 36 2nd Half 18:47
Binghamton 28
Cincinnati 29 2nd Half
UCF 24
Maine 33 2nd Half 16:30
Hartford 32
Monmouth 42 2nd Half 15:47
Manhattan 44
Fairfield 29 2nd Half 17:08
Marist 33
Rowan 28 2nd Half 11:40
Princeton 66
St Bonaventure 26 2nd Half 16:08
Rhode Island 33
Duke 39 2nd Half
St Johns 43
Saint Peters 48 2nd Half 12:48
Siena 32
Drake 21 2nd Half 17:05
Wichita State 40
Vermont 35 2nd Half 14:51
UMass Lowell 30
Seton Hall 6 1st Half 15:20
Butler 12
NJIT 4 1st Half 14:41
South Alabama 7
Northern Iowa 3:00 PM
Illinois State
Louisville 3:00 PM
UMBC 3:30 PM
Niagara 3:30 PM
Notre Dame 5:30 PM
NC State
Belmont 5:30 PM
Tennessee St
Creighton 6:00 PM
Northwestern 6:30 PM
Washington 7:30 PM
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
UCF 28 2nd Half
SMU 25
Utah 30 2nd Half 14:45
Washington 40
James Madison 50 2nd Half 13:53
Coll of Charleston 34
Delaware 21 2nd Half
Drexel 32
Hofstra 36 2nd Half 16:30
William & Mary 46
Hartford 34 2nd Half 18:50
Albany 35
Binghamton 30 2nd Half 14:22
Stony Brook 39
Towson 37 2nd Half
UNC-Wilmington 30
Wake Forest 47 2nd Half 17:18
(17) Florida State 57
Georgia Tech 47 2nd Half 11:40
Virginia 45
(22) Georgia 35 2nd Half 15:27
(5) Tennessee 30
Drake 56 2nd Half 11:31
Evansville 44
Iona 44 2nd Half
Canisius 32
Fairfield 16 2nd Half
Monmouth 28
Northwestern 47 2nd Half 15:12
Penn State 49
Wisconsin 44 2nd Half 11:46
Michigan State 50
Ohio State 39 2nd Half 13:20
Purdue 45
Northern Iowa 37 2nd Half 16:28
Indiana State 27
Butler 30 1st Half 1:02
Xavier 33
Creighton 10 1st Half 16:13
Marquette 0
Northeastern 7 1st Half 16:12
Elon 6
(2) Connecticut 20 1st Half 14:31
Cincinnati 0
Oregon 10 1st Half 11:07
Arizona 10
NC State 6 1st Half 15:34
(23) Syracuse 7
(7) Maryland 0 1st Half 20:00
Indiana 0
Illinois State 4 1st Half 17:35
Missouri State 4
Colorado 3:00 PM
Washington St
Tulane 3:00 PM
South Florida
(14) Kentucky 3:00 PM
Providence 3:00 PM
(9) Oregon State 3:00 PM
(13) Arizona State
Bradley 3:00 PM
Vermont 3:30 PM
UMass Lowell
Iowa State 3:30 PM
(8) Texas
Southern Ill 3:45 PM
Wichita State
(15) Duke 4:00 PM
(12) North Carolina
Miami-Florida 4:00 PM
(4) Louisville
(21) Minnesota 4:15 PM
(25) Rutgers
California 5:00 PM
(11) Stanford 7:00 PM
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