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...

 

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Cleveland 81 4th Qtr 1:35
Indiana 85
Washington 73 4th Qtr 2:48
Philadelphia 79
Golden State 94 3rd Qtr 1:05
Toronto 53
New York 66 3rd Qtr 1:02
Detroit 65
Orlando 67 4th Qtr 11:40
Atlanta 76
Charlotte 84 4th Qtr 7:28
Boston 82
LA Clippers 41 3rd Qtr
Memphis 41
Brooklyn 57 3rd Qtr
Houston 53
Miami 54 3rd Qtr
New Orleans 54
Minnesota 44 3rd Qtr
Chicago 51
Utah 14 1st Qtr 7:26
Denver 3
San Antonio 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Milwaukee 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Portland
Boston 2 3rd Prd
New Jersey 2
Calgary 0 3rd Prd 4:29
NY Islanders 1
Washington 0 3rd Prd 8:56
Carolina 2
Chicago 0 3rd Prd
Tampa Bay 2
Colorado 0 2nd Prd
Dallas 0
Los Angeles 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Siena 63 FINAL
Quinnipiac 73
Harvard 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Penn 69 FINAL
Brown 75
Fairfield 65 FINAL
Canisius 72
Manhattan 75 FINAL
Iona 79
Saint Peters 67 FINAL
Marist 69
Princeton 60 FINAL
Yale 81
Ohio 35 2nd Half 12:15
Akron 40
Dartmouth 44 2nd Half 16:34
Columbia 43
Valparaiso 9:00 PM
Cleveland State
Louisiana Tech 75 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 88
Seton Hall 77 FINAL
Xavier 60
Cornell 54 FINAL
Harvard 60
Yale 49 FINAL
(14) Princeton 67
Elon 51 FINAL
Drexel 54
Northeastern 47 FINAL
James Madison 82
St Johns 60 FINAL
Butler 49
Creighton 71 FINAL
Georgetown 62
Brown 58 FINAL
Penn 75
Columbia 50 FINAL
Dartmouth 60
Canisius 54 FINAL
Siena 58
St Josephs Brooklyn 35 FINAL
NJIT 78
Western Carolina 86 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 80
Colorado 39 2nd Half 13:53
Arizona 37
Southern Ill 43 2nd Half 18:49
Bradley 41
Drake 27 2nd Half 20:00
Wichita State 39
Indiana State 54 2nd Half 10:02
Evansville 32
Illinois State 31 2nd Half 15:41
Loyola-Chicago 39
Northern Iowa 41 2nd Half 11:31
Missouri State 46
Utah 19 1st Half 1:28
(10) Arizona State 12
Providence 26 2nd Half
Villanova 33
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