Wolves lose to Blazers in Webster and Love's homecoming
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Love attended high school in Lake Oswego, Oregon, and Webster played the first five seasons of his NBA career with the Trailblazers before being traded to the Wolves this summer.
Webster was given a nice ovation by the Portland crowd when he entered the game in the first quarter and came out firing, scoring six points on 3-of-4 shooting in the opening frame. He went out to score an impressive 19 points off the bench on 7-of-15 shooting in 30 minutes.
For both Webster and Love, their return came under less than ideal circumstances.
Webster returned from lower-back surgery Tuesday in Golden State after missing the entire season to that point -- not exactly the most opportune time to play your former team for the first time.
Love suffered a bruised butt-cheek in Wednesday's 128-122 loss to the Phoenix Suns but still played through the pain and scored 19 points and grabbed 17 boards in front of 30 friends and family.
This isn't the first time that Love played in front of friends and family in Portland but was by far his best performance -- even if it was somewhat of an off night for the soon-to-be All-Star.
During his rookie season, Love played in Portland in the sixth game of his career, scoring just two points on 0-for-7 shooting in a 97-93 loss.
Later in Love's rookie season, he had another shot at playing in Portland but had a similar result, scoring six points on 3-of-8 shooting in a 95-93 loss.
The frustration continued during Love's sophomore campaign when Love broke a metacarpal in his left hand, causing him to miss the first 18 games of the season. As luck what would have it, the Wolves made their only two appearances in Portland came in the seventh and 13th game of the season.
It is a common trend for NBA players, especially the young ones, to put an added importance on playing in their hometown.
Earlier this season rookie Wesley Johnson — who grew up in Corsicana, Texas-had over 50 family members in attendance for his first game back in Dallas against the Mavericks. Johnson had just five points, but two of them came on a rim-shaking dunk in the third quarter.
In October, second-year player Jonny Flynn was allowed to travel to his home state of New York a day early when the Wolves were playing an preseason game in Syracuse — Flynn's alma mater.