Jerry Zgoda missed the entire Kevin Garnett era, but he's back covering the Timberwolves after working the beat for their first four seasons two decades ago. In between, he covered a bit of everything: Gopher men's and women's basketball and NCAA athletics, golf, outdoor recreation, sports media and a little Vikings and Twins.

What's in a rivalry? Wolves lose at Portland again, 103-95

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves postgame, Rookies, Wolves news Updated: November 24, 2012 - 4:18 AM

Kevin Love refuses to call it a rivalry because he has a high threshold for such things, but there’s something going on between him and Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge.

As they did a season ago, the two power forwards had another exchange that turned physical on Friday in the Wolves’ 103-95 loss to the Blazers.

This time, it featured Love shoving Aldridge underneath the basket – typical NBA stuff among big men, Love said afterward – and escalated into a pair of fouls and then a pair of technical fouls early in the third quarter that contributed to the foul trouble that sent Aldridge to the bench midway through the third with five of them.

“I personally didn’t deserve it,” Love said about the Ts. “I walked away. He was doing whatever it was that he was doing. I think he was just trying to hype his team up.”

The Wolves led 59-54 at the time and still were ahead 65-62 when Aldridge picked up that fifth foul and went to the bench midway through the third quarter.

Without him, the Blazers then outscored the Wolves 22-13 over the next nine minutes on a night when the visitors couldn’t defend Portland’s starting backcourt of rookie Damian Lillard and Wes Matthews.

Here’s the game story that details their nights, when they combined to shoot 68 percent, make nine threes and score 58 points.

Getting back to the theme….

So what’s the deal between Aldridge and Love?

Is there a deal?

Of course, both say no.

“I don’t think so,” Aldridge said, “but everybody else might think so.”

Love also pooh-poohed the notion.

“No, no, you could ask him and I think he’d say the same,” Love said. “There’s plenty of premier power forwards in the league and we both happen to be one of them. But I don’t think there’s any rivalry between us. You create rivalries in the playoffs and plain and simple, I haven’t been there yet.”

Maybe not a rivalry, but there does seem to be something there.

Part of it probably dates to when Love made his first All-Star Game in 2011 with gaudy stats on a lousy team, picked above a more physically gifted Aldridge who has helped his team win more than Love's team since each player entered the league.

Part of it might be that Love gets more out of what he has, which might get under Aldridge’s skin some because that’s something he’s never really been accused of.

So, too, might Love's always more physical play.

Either way, any way, each wants to prove he’s better than the other.

Love had a 24-point, 13-rebound double-double in his second game back from injury. Aldridge had 13 and 6, but his team won.

His team almost always wins: The Blazers are 10-2 against the Wolves when both players have played.

The Blazers now have beaten the Wolves 13 of the last 14 times at Rose Garden.

That one time?

The Wolves needed Love’s 42 points last March to end a five-year, 16-game losing streak in Portland.

A few other bits of this and that from tonight:

Derrick Williams – the 2011 draft’s No. 2 overall pick – didn’t play a second again for the second consecutive game.

Rick Adelman said before the game that he knew someone would be left out when Love returned from that broken hand. He also said he intended to get Williams into Friday’s game somewhere, somehow.

He never did, going with Love for nearly 36 minutes and Dante Cunningham for 19 minutes off the bench because, he said, Cunningham clearly has won that power-forward battle with Williams so far.

He even played Lou Amundson eight minutes, turning to Amundson to play center when he went with a small lineup.

Backup center Greg Stiemsma also sat all night tonight.

So does that mean Williams is deep, deep, deep in Adelman’s “doghouse” – the word folks on Twitter love to use – and does this mean Williams’ days are numbered?

No and no.

It means that Williams hasn’t played well enough to Adelman's liking to earn Adelman’s trust above Cunningham and Amundson, guys who have both been in the league longer, and it does mean that the Wolves seemingly have given up, at least for now, with that experiment playing Williams at small forward.

He could still show up there someday even with Andrei Kirilenko and now Josh Howard still around, but probably only if Adelman plays Love more at center, something he’d rather not do unless it’s absolutely needed to get the Wolves’ struggling offense thus far clicking.

Lillard – the early clubhouse leader for Rookie of the Year – became the first rookie since Steph Curry in March 2010 to record at least 28 points and eight assists without a turnover in a game.

Him against Luke Ridnour tonight simply was a mismatch in size and speed.

Lillard has scored 20 points or more 11 times this season. All other NBA rookies have scored 20 or more 11 times combined.

* The Wolves now have lost four straight after starting the season 5-2.

And this road trip just keep moving along: They play at up-and-coming Golden State on Saturday in this stretch where they play four road games in six nights.

Good night from Portland. I'll be back tomorrow from Oakland.


Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Cleveland 11/6/14 7:25 PM
Memphis 97 FINAL
Indiana 89
Cleveland 114 FINAL
Chicago 108
Philadelphia 81 FINAL
Milwaukee 93
Portland 48 3rd Qtr
Sacramento 48
San Antonio 45 3rd Qtr
Phoenix 36
LA Clippers 44 2nd Qtr 6:28
LA Lakers 36
Toronto 4 FINAL
Columbus 1
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Detroit 5
Anaheim 1 1st OT 3:04
Dallas 1
Nashville 3 3rd Prd 8:18
Calgary 4
(2) Florida State 42 FINAL
Louisville 31
Troy 10 FINAL
Ga Southern 42
Cincinnati 38 4th Qtr 1:48
Tulane 14
Tulsa 20 4th Qtr 3:32
Memphis 33
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
(22) Clemson 11/6/14 6:30 PM
Wake Forest
Memphis 11/7/14 6:30 PM
Utah State 11/7/14 7:00 PM
(12) Baylor 11/8/14 2:00 AM
(19) Oklahoma
(11) Kansas State 11/8/14 2:00 AM
(10) TCU
Hamilton 34 FINAL
Ottawa 25
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
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