Love propels Wolves to easy victory

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 11, 2013 - 6:04 AM

The grieving All-Star scored 26 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and had seven assists to spark a rout.

– With a hurting heart and rested legs, Kevin Love got back to the game of basketball Tuesday at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Nine days after he had last played, six days after his maternal grandmother, Carol Lee Craig, died and one day after his first practice back with his teammates, Love hit the floor and played with an intensity that swept through the whole team.

Love scored 26 points and had 16 rebounds and seven assists as the Wolves beat up on the Detroit Pistons 121-94.

The whole time, Love played like the basketball court was a refuge.

“It’s really a holy place for me,” said Love said. “It has been my whole life. Any time I’ve had some sort of adversity, the best way to get back is to get on the court. It was great to get back out there. I was with my family [in Oregon] throughout the weekend. But being around these guys, it’s a family atmosphere too.’’

Frankly, the whole team played an inspired game. After too long with not enough ball movement, the cuts were crisp and the ball moved, one reason why the Wolves had a 28-8 edge from the free throw line, why all five Wolves starters scored in double figures, why even an unbelievable first-quarter shooting exhibition by the Pistons didn’t daunt a Wolves team that ended a two-game losing streak. It was a show of consistent force that had even coach Rick Adelman smiling.

“He was ready to go,” Adelman said of Love, but he might have been talking about the whole team. “He was terrific tonight. He was all over the boards. Seven assists. Just solid all the way through. This was a really solid win for us. We had a lot of energy.”

And it started with Love.

His grandmother lived next door to Love as he grew up. She helped raise him. So he wrote, “RIP Grandma Carol’’ on his sneaker, then walked onto the court and had 12 points, six rebounds and three assists in a first quarter that ended with the Wolves up 33-32.

The second quarter, though, belonged to another Kevin — Martin. The veteran guard scored 12 of his 18 points in the quarter as the Wolves took control of the game.

The Wolves never let up. Detroit came out with a zone to start the third quarter, and the Wolves, led by Love’s seven points, continued building the lead. They pushed their advantage to 19 by the end of the third and by as many as 30 in the fourth as the starters looked on from the bench.

In a matchup of productive frontcourts, Love and Nikola Pekovic combined for 44 points and 21 rebounds compared with 18 and 10 for Detroit’s Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. But this was a team victory. There were 31 assists on 41 baskets and only 13 turnovers.

The team was playing as one.

And, perhaps, for one.

“We wanted to be there for him,” Martin said. “We played this game for him and his family tonight. It’s a difficult time for him. She’s going to be on his mind the whole season. But, as teammates, all we can do is be there for him, show that respect.’’

And Love responded, from the start.

“She never missed a game,” Love said of his grandmother. “Not one Timberwolves game since I’ve been in the league. Whether she’s been there, watching on TV, following it on her phone, she never missed a game. She was my all-time biggest supporter. She’ll always be there with me.’’



 

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Wolves 121, Detroit 94

    Tuesday December 10, 2013

  • Video: Wolves Daily: Love stars in win at Detroit

    Tuesday December 10, 2013

    Kevin Love plays with rested legs and a hurting heart in a 121-94 victory at Detroit in which he...

  • Photo gallery: Wolves 121, Detroit 94

    Tuesday December 10, 2013

    The Timberwolves played the Detroit Pistons in Auburn Hills, Michigan, Tuesday evening.

  • Love back, but still grieving loss of grandmother

    Wednesday December 11, 2013

    Kevin Love returned to the basketball court Tuesday night, but his mind still was back home.

  • Postgame: Victory at Detroit is like early-season play

    Tuesday December 10, 2013

    Wolves offense looks like it did back when the season started in one-sided victory in Detroit

  • Gameday preview: Philadelphia at Wolves

    Tuesday December 10, 2013

    wolves gameday7 p.m. VS. PHILADELPHIA • TARGET Center • FSN, 830-AMPreview: The Wolves will try to break a two-game home...

  • Detroit-Wolves game recap

    Tuesday December 10, 2013

    GAME RECAPImpact playerKevin Love, WolvesEven though he hit just six of 15 shots, Kevin Love scored 26 points, hitting four...

  • Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love (42) drives on Detroit Pistons power forward Josh Harrellson (55) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Auburn Hills, Mich., Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • Kevin Love drove on Pistons power forward Josh Harrellson in the first half Tuesday night.

  • Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio swung up a left-handed shot when Detroit center Andre Drummond challenged from his right in the first half Tuesday. Rubio finished with 15 points, nine assists, four rebounds and two steals.

  • Kevin Love wrote “RIP Grandma Carol” on his shoe Tuesday night to honor his recently deceased grandmother..

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Locke 3
Texas - WP: C. Lewis 12 FINAL
Seattle - LP: E. Ramirez 4
Washington 2 Bottom 1st Inning
Philadelphia 1
Tampa Bay 3 Bottom 3rd Inning
Baltimore 1
Boston 0 Bottom 4th Inning
Toronto 1
NY Yankees 1 Top 3rd Inning
Detroit 0
Atlanta 3 Bottom 3rd Inning
NY Mets 1
Chicago Cubs 2 Bottom 3rd Inning
Cincinnati 2
Cleveland - C. Kluber 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi
Minnesota - P. Hughes 7:10 PM
Kansas City - L. Hendriks
Oakland - D. Pomeranz 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Peacock
Milwaukee - Y. Gallardo 8:10 PM
San Diego - O. Despaigne
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw 8:40 PM
Arizona - W. Miley
Miami - H. Alvarez 9:05 PM
LA Angels - H. Santiago
Colorado - F. Morales 9:15 PM
San Francisco - T. Hudson
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:02 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
D.C. 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Timberwolves win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close