Love returns to Wolves lineup, ignoring pain

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 8, 2014 - 6:15 AM
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Timberwolves' Kevin Love

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– If you found it difficult to watch the replay of his thudding fall in Tuesday’s victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, try being Timberwolves star Kevin Love.

Love returned to the lineup for Friday’s game at New Orleans after he missed Wednesday’s loss at Oklahoma City because his neck was too stiff and his back and hip too sore. He was injured when he fell on his backside after Lakers center Robert Sacre fouled him hard while he was driving to the basket late in the game.

Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio recoiled after the game at the thought of the sound Love’s body made when he landed on his hip, then his back before his head whiplashed back onto the wooden court.

Love didn’t think much of the video evidence, either.

“I watched the replay once and that’s all I could watch it,” he said. “It was a scary moment for me.”

Coach Rick Adelman said before Wednesday’s game that he was thankful Love’s head didn’t hit the court.

It did. “It snapped back pretty good,” Love said.

He played on anyway Friday, in the starting lineup even though he was still “very still, very sore.”

“I’m not going to talk about it too much,” he said Friday morning, “just keep my mindset that I’m going to play and play well.”

Brewer back too

Wolves forward Corey Brewer arrived in New Orleans on Friday, re-joining his team in time for the late 8:30 p.m. start time for ESPN.

He missed Wednesday’s game so he could remain in the Twin Cities and be with his son Sebastian, who was born Tuesday just hours before Brewer played against the Lakers. Brewer said he and his son watched the Oklahoma City game together from the hospital.

“He watched his first game: He was impressed with the first three quarters, he wasn’t impressed with the tip-dunk,” Brewer said, referring to rookie Gorgui Dieng’s unnecessary goaltending offense on a Thunder three-pointer that ended the third quarter.

Time is ticking on Pek

Wolves center Nikola Pekovic missed his sixth consecutive game Friday because of ankle bursitis. Adelman said he doesn’t expect him back before next week’s All-Star break. Pekovic said he expects to know more Saturday or Sunday.

“He really hasn’t gone on the court and worked or done anything, I don’t really expect that happening” Adelman said, referring to Pekovic playing in three remaining games before the All-Star break.

Popular pick

New NBA Commissioner Adam Silver named Pelicans second-year star Anthony Davis to replace injured starter Kobe Bryant on the Western Conference roster. It’s the first All-Star honor for the former Kentucky star and No. 1 overall pick in 2012. Davis leads the league in blocked shots with 3.3 a game and also is averaging 20.5 points and 10.5 rebounds.

Next Sunday’s All-Star Game is, of course, being played in New Orleans.

“I can’t tell you how happy I was to tell him the news after having to tell him the first time that he didn’t make it,” Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. “He thought I was joking. He was speechless and laughing. He’s 20. I didn’t expect a poem or anything.”

Etc.

• Love will return to New Orleans in just a week to start in Sunday’s All-Star Game and compete in the Saturday night three-point contest at the newly renamed Smoothie King Center. “I guess I need to get used to these rims,” he said.

• Friday was New Orleans “day-to-day” swingman Tyreke Evans’ day apparently. He played after missing Wednesday’s game because of a rib injury. Ryan Anderson, Jrue Holiday and Jason Smith remain out.

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