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.

Say what? Wolves rally, win in Denver 101-97 without Love

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves injury report, Wolves postgame, Wolves news Updated: January 4, 2013 - 2:45 AM

OK, so let the great debate continue:

Are the Timberwolves better without their best player, Kevin Love?

Denver coach George Karl contributed to the discussion after he watched Love leave Thursday's game in the third quarter clutching that right shooting hand again and then saw the Wolves quickly wipe away a 10-point deficit and beat his team at home for only their second loss in 12 games there this season.

The only other team that has beat the Nuggets at Pepsi Center?

Not the L.A. Clippers, who had their 17-game win streak end there on Tuesday.

Yes, that's right: The defending champs, Miami, is the only other team to win there this season, on Nov. 15.

That was an eight-game home winning streak in between losses.

One night after that stinker in Utah, the Wolves won while Love went to the locker room to discover he appeared to sprain the third metacarpal -- one of two bones he broke in October -- on that shooting hand and then came to watch some of the fourth quarter from the bench.

They did so with Dante Cunningham taking over for Love at power forward in a final quarter when Derrick Williams and J.J. Barea also stepped forth.

And guess what?

WIthout Love, the Wolves defense, particularly in transition, improved noticeably and Barea took over offensively with a strategy that often appeared to be: Give him the ball and get the heck out of the way.

No telling how long this latest setback with that hand will last.

Is it time to rest the hand for some time and get it completely healthy without him continually banging it?

Love wasn't talking after the game. He hid out in the training room, reading something and not getting treatment, well after the game and didn't want to talk to reporters.

Karl did.

"I think Minnesota at times plays better without Love," Karl said afterward. "They're kind of a machine-like offense. They give guys different opportunities. But they're pretty good."

OK, so short term, with Love struggling so, they're better.

Anybody here willing to argue long term they're better without him.

That's just plain silliness, but I know you're out there, so pipe up...



Houston 1 FINAL
Miami 1
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Minnesota 7
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Detroit 4
Baltimore - WP: T. Wilson 10 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Baker 2
Boston 9 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Toronto 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 8
Atlanta 5 FINAL
Toronto 3
Washington 2 FINAL
NY Mets 10
Chicago Cubs 5 FINAL
Cincinnati 9
San Diego 3 FINAL
Texas 2
San Francisco 9 FINAL
Seattle 8
Colorado 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 18
Cleveland 3 FINAL
Milwaukee 2
Oakland 10 FINAL
Chicago WSox 4
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
LA Angels 4
Kansas City 10 FINAL
Arizona 5
Atlanta 100 FINAL
Charlotte 115
New York 80 FINAL
Chicago 111
Golden State 108 FINAL
Milwaukee 95
Oklahoma City 89 FINAL
Utah 94
Denver 114 FINAL
Portland 120
Nashville 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Arizona 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 2
Anaheim 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Boston 4
Tampa Bay 0 FINAL
Detroit 4
New Jersey 1 FINAL
Carolina 3
Florida 2 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 3
Ottawa 3 FINAL(OT)
Toronto 4
Los Angeles 1 FINAL
Minnesota 4
Columbus 4 FINAL
St. Louis 2
Buffalo 3 FINAL
Colorado 5
Dallas 4 FINAL(OT)
Vancouver 3
Arizona 78 FINAL
Wisconsin 85
Canisius 73 FINAL
Notre Dame 66 FINAL
Kentucky 68
San Jose 1 FINAL
New England 2
Orlando City 2 FINAL
Montreal 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
D.C. 1
Sporting Kansas City 1 FINAL
New York City 0
Red Bull New York 2 FINAL
Columbus 1
Portland 1 FINAL
Vancouver FC 2
Colorado 0 FINAL
Houston 0
Seattle 0 FINAL
FC Dallas 0
Texas 54 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 105
Dayton 82 FINAL
(8) Louisville 66
(16) Duke 55 FINAL
(4) Maryland 65
Gonzaga 69 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 73
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