Kevin Love’s streak of monster games continued again Sunday night.
Only two days after a career-best 51-point scoring game, Love followed it up with 30 points and 21 rebounds to lead Minnesota’s 117-100 victory over Denver.
“I think we used to call him kind of a poor man’s Larry Bird,” Denver coach George Karl told the Associated Press. “I think you can take `poor man’s’ off that comparison now. His ability to rebound is incredible and his offensive tools and skills are growing.”
It was Love’s seventh career 30-point, 20-rebound game. During his career, the feat has been accomplished only 11 times by the rest of the league, with Dwight Howard with three the next closest during that span.
And it was Love’s ninth 30-15 effort this season. Joe Smith is the only other NBA player who has accomplished that feat more than once this season. Smith has done it twice.
“Just another night for him,” Minnesota forward Anthony Tolliver told the AP.
Love’s huge outburst was critical as the Timberwolves attempt to stay relevant in the Western Conference playoff race.
And in the process, his big effort enabled his team to stay within 2½ games of Houston for the West’s final playoff spot as he led Sunday’s Studs and Duds.
Minnesota F Kevin Love: Notched 30 points, 21 rebounds, four assists, three blocks, two steals and was a game-high plus-25 in the Timberwolves’ victory over Denver.
Oklahoma City F Kevin Durant: Went for 28 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and was plus-13 in the Thunder’s victory over the Heat.
Atlanta G Joe Johnson: Erupted for 37 points, eight rebounds, two assists and was plus-7 in the Hawks’ quadruple-overtime victory over Utah.
Los Angeles Lakers C Andrew Bynum: Went for 30 points and was plus-4 in the Lakers’ loss to Memphis.
Utah F Al Jefferson: Produced 28 points, 17 rebounds, three blocks and was plus-1 in the Jazz’s wild loss at Atlanta.
Cleveland F Antawn Jamison: Went 1 for 8 from the field with a turnover and was minus-17 in the Cavaliers’ loss to Phoenix.
Portland G Jamal Crawford: Clanked through a 1-for-10 shooting effort with a turnover and was minus-8 in the Trail Blazers’ loss to Golden State.
Washington F Trevor Booker: Went 1 of 7 from the field with three turnovers and was minus-14 in the Wizards’ loss at Boston.
Oklahoma City G Russell Westbrook: Clanked through a 4-for-16 shooting effort with four turnovers in the Thunder’s victory over Miami.
Miami’s “Big Three:” LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade combined for 15 turnovers and were a collective minus-41 in the Heat’s loss at Oklahoma City.