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.

No. 52: Wolves beat Pacers 101-75, Love's double-double streak passes Moses

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves injury report, Wolves postgame, Wolves news Updated: March 10, 2011 - 2:08 AM

Kevin Love played Wednesday night on that bum knee and still extended his double-double streak to 52 games -- best in the league in 35 years -- and guess what?

The Wolves won, too.

Not just any victory, but an honest to goodness blowout, the likes of which we haven't seen at Target Center since Cleveland came to town in early December.

Love debated until 20 minutes before the opening tip whether his bruised knee -- hit hard in Monday's loss to Dallas -- could carry him up and down the court.

The streak would have stayed alive if he didn't play, would have ended if he tried it and couldn't play more than a few minutes.

"With the stiffness in my knee, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get up and down the floor too much," he said. "It was basically a flip of the coin. I really didn't think I'd be able to play with how stiff my knee was. The swelling in the knee just made it unbelievable stiff. I was doing whatever I could in warmups to make it right. I was out there with Bill (Laimbeer) pregame, trying to get it right. Eventually, it felt a little bit better, but I'm not going to lie. I didn't feel great out.

"I think I made the right choice playing. Not only did I do that, but we got the win. I knew if I was going to play, I was going to be in it all the way. I'm happy I made the right decision."

He ended up playing nearly 27 minutes, none of them in the fourth quarter after Kurt Rambis pulled all of his starters because of a lead that grew to as many as 26 points in the third quarter.

Love got that double-double well before halftime again, the 27th time this season he has had a double-double in a single half.

Those who came to Target Center buzzed and cheered over every rebound and point as he got closer to double digits in each.

They stood and gave him a standing ovation when he went to the free-throw line midway through the second quarter with the chance to get his 10th point, and thus the double-double.

He said he noticed the commotion and called it the same "funny crowd" that has supported him and his teammates all year.

Some of those "MVP" chanters surfaced again tonight.

I asked Love what he thought of them.

"Like I said, they're funny," he said.

The one thing he griped about afterward:

His free-throw shooting.

He made just eight of 15, which means, of course, he missed seven.

That's the first thing he tweeted about after the game was not the streak or the victory, but those missed free throws.

A couple other things about Wednesday night:

* Darko Milicic continues to head toward the season's end quietly. Played fewer than 18 minutes tonight when Rambis went small with Love, Tolliver and Randolph mostly and yet I was stunned to look at the stat sheet afterward and see he had four blocked shots.

That's the 24th time he's had three or more blocks in a game. Only Milwaukee's Andrew Bogut has had more such games (26).

* Nikola Pekovic, after some pretty productive and efficient play the last week, got four fouls in four minutes tonight and that was that for him.

* Wes Johnson still hasn't recovered from that food poisoning last week in Philly.

He started tonight but played only 12 minutes, none after halftime. Rambis said he got fluids intravenously at halftime and didn't come back out of locker room until well into the third quarter (or beyond, I don't remember seeing him much at all ). Wayne Ellington started the second half for him.

Anthony Randolph still is feeling poorly as well -- Johnson, Telfair, Randolph and Lazar Hayward, who was too ill to play Wednesday, apparently all ate at the same cheesesteak place in Philadelphia last week -- but he managed to play 19 minutes tonight.

* The Wolves now have won 16 games, one more than they did all last season.

Here's the game story from tonight.

That's all I got from Target Center.

Wolves practice Thursday, then play Utah and Big Al Jefferson Friday at Target Center.

Blog at ya later...

 

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