Despite Love's franchise-record 51 points, Wolves fall in double OT
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Despite Kevin Love's franchise-record 51 points, the Minnesota Timberwolves fell in double overtime to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night, 149-140.
Love broke Kevin Garnett's previous franchise high of 47 points and he did it in a variety of ways, shooting 7 of 11 from three-point land and 16 of 27 from the field.
He also added 14 rebounds, a steal and a block in 49 total minutes and became the first player to score 51+ points and grab 14+ boards since Dirk Nowitizki in 2004-05.
The biggest basket scored by Love came with just one second left in regulation when he buried a three-pointer to tie the game at 116, just seconds after Kevin Durant hit what looked like the game-winner.
Love had a chance to officially be the hero and ice the game at the at the end of the first OT. The Wolves were up three and Love had the ball in the post and appeared to be fouled but got whistled for traveling. Upon review, it looked to be the correct call.
Shortly after, Durant -- who finished with 40 points -- nailed another three-pointer to send the game to a second extra frame that eventually saw the Thunder out-duel the Wolves.
Despite the positives surrounding Love's record-breaking numbers, the bottom line is that the Wolves lost the game, come home 2-5 on their seven-game road trip and find themselves 3.5 games back for the final playoff spot.
There was no conventional reason why the Wolves should have even been in this game.
They were coming off an embarrassing loss at San Antonio where they barely put fourth any effort level.
They were without Nikola Pekovic, Ricky Rubio and Michael Beasley, who were all sidelined with injuries.
They were playing the best team in the West on the last game of a seven game, two-week road trip.
But through it all Love and the Wolves showed there still is some fight left in this team, even with the cards stacked against them since Rubio went down.
That trademark fighting spirit that the Wolves have been missing for the majority of this road trip made a comeback in a big way Friday. They trailed by as many as eight points in the fourth quarter and didn't tie the game until a J.J. Barea layup with 27 seconds remaining.
Lost in the shadow of Love's historic night was Barea's big performance off the bench -- 25 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds.
The scoring help for Love came from the bench. Despite Beasley missing the game because of a toe injury, Anthony Tolliver scored 23 of his own to add to Barea's 25.
The starters not named Love didn't bring much of anything to the table. Wesley Johnson, Derrick Williams, Luke Ridnour and Martell Webster scored a combined 29 points.
The Wolves simply ran out of steam down the stretch. The Thunder scored the final five points of the first OT and the led by as many as nine in the second. The road-weary Wolves simply didn't have enough left for the final five minutes.
12: Double OT games in franchise history.
3: Points for former Wolf Lazar Hayward">Lazar Hayward. Hayward was shipped out prior to the season starting to the Thunder to make room on the roster for Barea.
1: Career triple-double for Barea after Friday's game.
0: Minutes for a healthy Darko Milicic, who continues to be planted firmly in coach Rick Adelman's doghouse. Even Brad Miller got run over Darko.
The Wolves were already without the services of Pekovic and Rubio and had to do without their best scorer off the bench in Beasley.
Beasley was technically active just because Pekovic and Rubio were the team's two scratches for the game, but he did not play. It is unclear whether or not he would have even been active if Adelman had roster decisions to make.
Beasley is still nursing that sore toe that he originally injured over a week ago at Phoenix.
Home sweet home.
After their grueling seven game, two week road trip the Wolves finally flew back to Minnesota after the game and will get a much needed day off on Saturday.
The Wolves return to the court on Sunday in an afternoon tilt against the Denver Nuggets. This is the second of four games against the Nuggets with the Wolves kicking the first match away at Denver 103-101 in the game where Martell Webster infamously dunked the ball with the team down three points.
But it is right back on the road again after Sunday. The Wolves have two midweek games at Memphis and Charlotte on Tuesday and Wednesday before coming home to face Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics on Friday.