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.

Love's 23/24 game helps Wolves end 5-game losing streak, 97-89 at Sacramento

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves players, Wolves postgame, Wolves news Updated: November 28, 2012 - 3:28 AM

Rick Adelman wanted this one, a 97-89 victory at Sacramento Tuesday that ended the Wolves' five-game losing streak.

It was their first victory since winning at Dallas on Nov. 12, and the first since Kevin Love made his surprise season debut last Wednesday.

How badly did he want it?

He played Love nearly 44 minutes and fellow starter Andrei KIrilenko more than 41, including the entire second half.

Afterward, Kirilenko spent time in the trainer's room because of a back spasms that caused him to sit out Monday's practice as well.

Is he all right?

"I hope so," he said. "We'll see."

Adelman didn't play Derrick Williams a second again for the third time in four games, nor did Greg Stiemsma or Lou Amundson get off the bench on a night when Adelman shortened his rotation by relying on every starter but Malcolm Lee to play 30 or more minutes and by really calling on only reserves Alexey Shved, J.J. Barea and Dante Cunningham.

"The way we were struggling, I was going to go for this win," Adelman said. "I wasn't going to worry about anything else."

Love took off that protective glove on his healing shooting hand for this one and delivered the kind of game you'd expect from the "real Kevin Love," the guy Love had suggested was hidden when he wore that padded glove he called "restrictive."

Here's the game story about Love's 23-point, 24-rebound night and Kirilenko's vital contribution at either end of the floor in the final seconds..

And here is a bunch of this and that about his game and the Wolves' night:

* Love's 24 rebounds are the most in an NBA game so far this season. Cleveland's Anderson Varejao had 23 against Washington in the Cavs' season opener.

* His 21 defensvie rebounds were a career high, beating by two his previous high of 19 that he had reached three different times.

* It was the 16th time in his career he reached 20-20, second only since he entered the league to Dwight Howard (27).

* The 24 tied the second-most in a single game in his career, second only of course to those 31 he grabbed in that 31-31 game against the Knicks in November 2011.

* After five games -- and one practice -- Love is averaging 24 points and 16.5 rebounds.

* The Wolves scored on their last four possessions of the game while holding the Kings to just one basket in their last six. Of course, the Wolves got some help when Love made a spinning turnaround heave from 15 feet that clanked off the rim and went in for a 95-85 lead with 26.8 seconds left.

* The last time the Kings allowed an opposing player a 20/20 game? The Clippers' Chris Kaman did it with 20 points and 21 rebounds on Jan. 23, 2008.

The Wolves flew to L.A. after tonight's game and finish this four-game trip against The Clippers Wednesday night.

 

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