Love scores 31 and 31 in epic comeback win over the Knicks and more
History, folks. That's what you saw -- or not. The announced crowd of 15,232 went crazy as Kevin Love scored 31 points and had 31 rebounds in a massive come-from-behind 112-103 victory over the New York Knicks on Friday at Target Center. But the game wasn't on local TV, so most will have to rest assured that what happened was something they won't see again for, oh, a few decades.
By the numbers: Love's 31 points was a career high. His 31 rebounds was a franchise high and the first time anyone in the NBA got 30 since Charles Barkley got 33 in 1996. It was the first time anyone had 30 and 30 since Moses Malone got 32 and 38 for Houston against Seattle on Feb. 11, 1982.
One locker over, Michael Beasley, who had scored 35 points of his own, was marveling.
"Me and KLove were on the bench when they called a timeout in the third quarter," Beasley said. "And KLove whispers in my ear, 'I'm going for 30 tonight.' I said, '30 what?' "
From Dana Wessel/1500ESPN.com:
Oh, and lost in the the Love shuffle, Michael Beasley became the second player in franchise history to have 35+ points in consecutive nights. Beasley turned in a 35 point 6 rebound 4 assist performance following his career-high 42 point game against the Kings Wednesday night.
It doesn't take an NBA insider to see that Love and Beasley appear to be the future of this franchise and they seem to know it too.
In the locker room after the game, Beasley decided, "I am Superman and he is Batman."
Love had 15 of his rebounds in the third quarter. The last player with at least 15 rebounds in a quarter was Erick Dampier (Jan. 19, 2004) in the fourth quarter against the Utah Jazz.
Lost in the "Lovefest" is the fact that Minnesota came back to win despite trailing by 21 points in the third quarter. It's the Timberwolves first win when trailing by more than 20 points since Jan. 17, 1998. They trailed Dallas by 24 points in the third before coming back to win, 113-110.
--Like the defense the Wolves played in the second half, with Sebastian Telfair and brand-new signee Sundiata Gaines at the point.
--And then Corey Brewer, who had 12 off the bench, with eight rebounds and three steals.
--Or the contributions of Wes Johnson (15 points, three blocked shots and three big three-pointers).
Recaps of tonight's epic win:
Associated Press: Kevin Love posts NBA's 1st 30-30 game in 28 years as Knicks fade in 4th
Menzie Henderson/Timberwolves site: Wolves Rally Past Knicks
Ray Richardson/Pioneer Press: Timberwolves 112, Knicks 103: Michael Beasley scores 35 points, and Kevin Love has 31 points and 31 rebounds
Tom Coyer/NBA.com: Knicks-Timberwolves notebook
TwolvesBlog: Tonight, We Shine
From Matt Moore/CBSSports.com: NBA stars react to Kevin Love's 31-31
From Chris Mannix/SI.com: Memo to Timberwolves: Love is a talent worth developing
Why is Love's performance so surprising? At a listed 6-foot-10 (yeah, right) and with a vertical leap that you could barely slide a piece of paper under, Love doesn't have the athleticism of elite rebounders like Dwight Howard or Tyson Chandler. But Love's board work is a sweet blend of physicality, positioning and an uncanny knowledge of where the ball will come off the rim. Last season he ranked as the NBA's best rebounder per 48 minutes (18.4), edging Howard (18.3) and Marcus Camby (18.1). His rebound percentage this season (23.2 percent going into Friday night) is the third highest in NBA history for players 22 or younger, better than Howard, Charles Oakley and Shaquille O'Neal.
From Marc Stein/ESPN:
• Sources say that inquiring teams -- and there have been plenty calling already even at this early stage -- have been shot down sternly when it comes to pursuing Love in Minnesota, Smith in Atlanta and Ellis in Golden State. That's despite Love's ongoing struggles to score consistent minutes from Wolves coach Kurt Rambis.
If you are right -- you being those aforementioned "peripheral opponents" -- and signing Milicic proves to be the gaffe of Summer 2010, Kahn contends the damage control will come easy.
Remember this: Before Milicic was traded to Minnesota, he had publicly stated that he was done with the NBA. He had given up on this league and was headed back to Europe, which -- and this part wasn't as public -- then led to his request for a buyout when he arrived with the Wolves.
But Kahn brought him back from the brink, vowing to give the kind of support, patience and respect that the big man always thought he didn't have around him. And with that, it seems, there is a mutual understanding that anything short of consistent contributions from Milicic will result in a subsequent discussion about the future of this partnership. Put simply: Milicic has no interest in collecting a check at the end of a bench, and the Wolves have no interest in paying him to do so.
From Jerry Zgoda/Star Tribune: Wolves sign Gaines, he's "the guy" at backup point guard tonight vs. Knicks
"Wayne is out, so Gaines will be the guy," Kurt Rambis said, referring to injured shooting guard Wayne Ellington (bruised thigh) who can play some backup point in a pinch.
Gaines will be asked to step right in and learn new teammates and a complex new system instantly, at least until Luke Ridnour and/or Jonny Flynn get healthy.
Free-agent guard Maurice Ager was released to make room on the roster for Gaines.
From Rob Mahoney/New York Times NBA Blog: Gaines, Livingston and the Defining Power of YouTube
From Aron Phillips/Dime Magazine: DimeTV: Behind The Scenes Of Michael Beasley’s Photo Shoot
K Love went ESPN 30/30 on them tonight #Epic
Another win for the wolves
Snowin!!!! Aw man i was ready