With predicted doom and gloom, of course, we set the DVR for Tuesday night's tilt in Houston, part II of a back-to-back. We arrived home in the middle of the third quarter or thereabouts. When we turned on the TV, it was still on FSN, so we had to shield our eyes and ears while asking (begging?) the RandBall Better Half to not only go to our playlist and start from the beginning, but also to not tell us the score. See, she's not the kind of person who likes surprises. She wanted so badly to at least tell us one piece of information about the game. We told her -- again -- that we like to know nothing about a game if it is recorded. Not a score. Not who is on the court. Nothing. Finally, she gave up and went to bed. From there, of course, she sent us a text: "Sources indicate that tonight's game will be a good one." Fair enough. The game wasn't over, and we knew watching at least the first three quarters wouldn't be a lost cause.
That revelation became somewhat of a stunner, though, when we saw the lineup the Wolves had on the court for a key stretch: Anthony Tolliver, Sebastian Telfair, Kosta Koufos, Lazar Hayward and Wayne Ellington. Tolliver gets pretty good run when he's healthy, regardless of who else is out of the lineup. The rest? They're not exactly the Fab Four. More like the DNP Four. And yet here were the Wolves, hanging close with a decent Houston squad. They weren't playing great defense, but they were active. They weren't creating great shots down the stretch, but they got enough good ones. Jonny Flynn wasn't completely in control, but he was better than he has been.
And then, of course, there was Kevin Love -- notching not only his team-record 38th consecutive double-double (also the longest streak in the NBA in forever), but punctuating the night with a pair of HUGE three-pointers. After the second one, which gave the Wolves a five-point lead in the final minute, he got a little peck on the side of the head from Tolliver (still shot grabbed from FSN's broadcast). Love for Love. Isn't that nice?
Big-picture, we're not sure what to make of it yet. This tweet caught our eye -- yes, the Thunder was horrendous for half a season a couple years back before finishing 20-18 down the stretch. And look at the Thunder now. The Wolves don't yet have as many pieces as OKC (and as good as Love is, he's no Kevin Durant). But to win back-to-back road games against competent teams while missing several key players? At the very least, it could be the start of something good.