Kevin Love prepared for his upcoming trip to San Antonio with another monster game to ruin Chris Mullin’s jersey retirement night.
Love muscled for 36 points and 17 rebounds to lead Minnesota to a 97-93 victory over Golden State as the Warriors honored one of their greatest players.
The All-Star Minnesota power forward had several late big plays, hitting a 16-foot jumper with 4 minutes left and then adding a critical tip-in late in the game to help the Timberwolves keep their dimming postseason hopes alive.
“Down the stretch is where we won the game,” Love told the Associated Press. “We executed, got big stops and made plays.”
It enabled Minnesota to snap a three-game losing streak and pull within 1½ games of Houston for eighth place in the Western Conference playoff race.
Love and the Timberwolves have their chance to spoil another jersey retirement Wednesday night in San Antonio when the Spurs raise Bruce Bowen’s uniform to the rafters. They will be gunning for a season sweep against the Spurs after beating them twice already this season.
His big game Monday night led Studs and Duds across the NBA.
Minnesota F Kevin Love: Muscled for 36 points and 17 rebounds and was a team-best plus-6 in the Timberwolves’ victory at Golden State.
Dallas F Dirk Nowitzki: Erupted for 33 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in only 31 minutes and was a team-best plus-23 in the Mavericks’ victory at Denver.
Cleveland F Tristan Thompson: The rookie from Texas had 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds (eight offensive) in the Cavaliers’ victory at New Jersey.
Chicago F Carlos Boozer: Went for 24 points, 13 rebounds, four steals, two assists and was plus-19 in the Bulls’ victory at Orlando.
Boston G Rajon Rondo: Produced 10 points, 13 assists, six steals, three rebounds and was plus-3 in the Celtics’ victory at Atlanta.
Chicago G C.J. Watson: Went 0 for 8 from the field with two turnovers in the Bulls’ victory at Orlando.
Orlando G Jason Richardson: Struggled through a 1-for-7 shooting effort with two turnovers and was minus-13 in the Magic’s loss to Chicago.
Atlanta G Joe Johnson: Went for 25 points in the Hawks’ loss to Boston, but had seven turnovers and was minus-1.
Orlando G Jameer Nelson: Struggled through a 4-for-11 shooting effort with five turnovers and was minus-2 in the Magic’s loss to Chicago.
Denver F Danilo Gallinari: Limited to four points on 1-for-7 shooting with three turnovers and was minus-10 in the Nuggets’ loss to Dallas.