Kevin Love’s putback at the buzzer against L.A. wouldn’t fall.
LOS ANGELES – In January 2012, the Timberwolves danced off the Staples Center floor while star Kevin Love raised his arms out in defiance after his long three-point shot beat the Los Angeles Clippers at the final buzzer before a national ESPN audience.
On Monday, he held his head with both hands in anguish after his tying putback layup at the rim came up short and bounced back to him to end a 109-107 loss to the Clippers at another final buzzer.
The night before inside the very same arena, the Wolves celebrated a rout of the once-mighty Lakers that ended a six-year, 22-game losing streak to the 16-time NBA champions.
This time, the Wolves rallied twice in the final five minutes against the new glamour NBA team in town only to watch their chance to force overtime disappear not once, but twice in the final two seconds when putback attempts by both Love and Nikola Pekovic wouldn’t go.
Love was asked afterward how many times out of 100 he makes that tip right at the rim.
“Ninety-nine,” he said.
The Wolves had the ball and a timeout with 6.9 seconds remaining. Guard Kevin Martin already had scored 12 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter when he ran a two-man game with Love that resulted in a 16-foot shot that missed as the final three seconds ticked loudly off the clock.
Pekovic’s layup from the right side with 1.1 seconds left rolled off the rim.
Tick, tick, tick …
“My natural instinct was to rush the shot and get it up there,” Love said. “I was right there. I could have dunked it, but I thought I just had to touch it real quick because time was running out. I didn’t want them to have to go to the scorer’s table [for official’s review].
“It just sat on the rim, didn’t go anywhere, came right off. … Like I said, 99 out of 100 times that goes in. My bad.”
On a night when the Wolves grabbed 16 offensive rebounds to the Clippers six, neither of their last two would fall to tie a game in which they trailed 100-89 with 5:13 left but produced a 10-1 run that got them within a basket until they trailed again 107-101 with 1:37 left.
“They believed they could get back in,” Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. “Our guys played hard. That’s the way you have to play. They made the right plays defensively and converted at the other end. That’s the way you have to play if you’re going to win in this league in the fourth quarter, and we were there.
“When you get down, though, everything has to go right for you.”
The Wolves couldn’t quite overcome Clippers star Blake Griffin’s 25-point performance nor sixth-man Jamal Crawford’s game-changing, 18-point night off the bench.
It ended a game in which Martin, Love and Pekovic all scored 23 or more points, but Clippers forward Blake Griffin answered with 25 of his own and Clippers sixth-man Jamal Crawford played a deciding role with an 18-point performance off the bench.
The Wolves flirted with acquiring Crawford at the trade deadline two seasons ago, ultimately turning down a three-way deal that would have brought them a deft scorer off the bench because they declined to take a contract back.
Approaching two years later, Crawford on Monday showed why the Clippers signed him as a free agent the next summer and why the Wolves wanted him in the first place.
|NY Mets||4||Top 7th Inning|
|Boston||0||Top 2nd Inning|
|Toronto||0||Top 2nd Inning|
|Oklahoma City||7:00 PM|
|Calgary||0||1st Prd 3:51|
|St. Louis||1||1st Prd 4:11|
|Minnesota||0||1st Prd 5:31|
|NY Islanders||7:00 PM|
|Holy Cross||13||1st Half 9:47|
|Western Ky||31||1st Half 3:49|
|Navy||12||1st Half 10:36|
|Temple||5||1st Half 15:32|
|UAB||28||1st Half 4:29|
|Boston Univ||14||1st Half 11:14|
|American Univ||12||1st Half 8:50|
|Wisconsin||38||1st Half 3:26|
|Fairfield||7||1st Half 7:06|
|Arkansas||43||1st Half 5:37|
|Morehead State||31||1st Half 2:21|
|USC Upstate||17||1st Half 6:26|
|Fla Gulf Coast||20|
|Lipscomb||15||1st Half 8:21|
|Southern Ill||16||1st Half 7:57|
|Texas State||6:30 PM|
|SC State||6:30 PM|
|Delaware State||6:30 PM|
|Middle Tennessee||0||1st Half 17:49|
|Texas-Arlington||0||1st Half 20:00|
|Norfolk State||6:30 PM|
|NC A&T||6:30 PM|
|Savannah State||7:00 PM|
|Southern Miss||7:00 PM|
|Georgia State||7:00 PM|
|Ark-Little Rock||7:15 PM|
|South Alabama||7:30 PM|
|Alabama State||7:30 PM|
|Alabama A&M||7:30 PM|
|Sam Houston St||7:30 PM|
|Central Arkansas||7:30 PM|
|Portland State||7:30 PM|
|Southern U||7:30 PM|
|Alcorn State||7:30 PM|
|Houston Baptist||7:30 PM|
|SE Louisiana||7:45 PM|
|Eastern Ill||8:00 PM|
|VA Commonwealth||8:00 PM|
|Miss Valley St||0|
|Sacramento St||8:00 PM|
|Northwestern St||8:00 PM|
|Stephen F Austin|
|North Texas||8:00 PM|
|Abilene Christian||8:00 PM|
|Eastern Wash||8:05 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton||9:00 PM|
|Long Beach State|
|UC Riverside||9:00 PM|
|(18) Texas A&M||57|
|East Tenn St||73|
|Savannah State||49||2nd Half 17:00|
|Virginia Tech||27||2nd Half 15:54|
|Central Arkansas||39||2nd Half 3:42|
|Houston Baptist||43||2nd Half 7:18|
|Gardner-Webb||49||2nd Half 9:07|
|Georgia||38||2nd Half 15:31|
|Old Dominion||48||2nd Half 10:40|
|Ark-Little Rock||46||2nd Half 14:47|
|South Alabama||51||2nd Half 8:26|
|Georgia State||48||2nd Half 8:50|
|Sam Houston St||29||2nd Half|
|SE Louisiana||36||2nd Half|
|Northwestern St||25||2nd Half 17:52|
|Stephen F Austin||21|
|Alabama A&M||31||2nd Half|
|Alabama State||25||2nd Half|
|Southern U||34||2nd Half|
|Alcorn State||26||2nd Half 19:29|
|Miss Valley St||0|
|Wofford||27||2nd Half 14:45|
|Abilene Christian||20||1st Half 7:37|
|La Salle||17||1st Half 9:37|
|Illinois||15||1st Half 11:43|
|TX-San Antonio||12||1st Half 6:49|
|Valparaiso||25||1st Half 3:55|
|Missouri State||13||1st Half 11:00|
|Georgia Tech||7:00 PM|
|(15) North Carolina|
|Florida Atlantic||7:00 PM|
|Texas-El Paso||7:00 PM|
|Wichita State||7:00 PM|
|San Francisco||8:00 PM|
|Idaho State||8:00 PM|
|Weber State||8:00 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton|
|Long Beach St||9:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara|
|UC Davis||9:00 PM|
|Northern Ariz||9:00 PM|
|Southern Utah||9:00 PM|
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