Love Not Enough vs Wizards

Wizards 103 (16-47) - Timberwolves 96 (15-49) | Verizon Center

Jonah Ballow
Wolves Editor/Writer

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How it happened:
Kevin Love received a dish from Lazar Hayward with 5:32 remaining in the game and completed a reverse layup to provide the Wolves with an 85-84 lead. The Wizards recaptured control behind two spectacular putback dunks from Trevor Booker, which sparked a 10-3 run and snapped a seven-game slide for the home team. Minnesota suffered the 103-96 defeat on the last leg of a three-game road trip while falling to 15-49 on the season.

The Wolves seemed poised to steal a win at the Verizon Center by shifting momentum on their side in the third quarter. Love was a man on a mission with 11 third period rebounds in the midst of a 16-5 Minnesota rally in seven minutes. Unfortunately, it was just a microcosm of the entire contest as it featured 21 lead changes and 14 ties.

Both teams entered the matchup shorthanded as Wesley Johnson missed his second consecutive game with an illness, Darko Milicic remains in Minneapolis due to a personal matter, and Martell Webster’s sore back kept him off the floor. Washington's leading scorer Nick Young (flu-like symptoms) was out along with Josh Howard.

“I thought our guys did a pretty good job throughout the ball game back and forth, we got ourselves a little lead at the end of the third quarter and then we just couldn’t find ways to get stops. W e had several great chances to make baskets but we fell a little bit short in that area.” – head coach Kurt Rambis

Leader of the Pack:
Love elevated his play in the second half and recorded his 50th consecutive double-double of the season with 20 points and 21 boards, just one shy of Moses Malone’s streak of 51 in 1978-79. In 64 games, Love owns 59 double-doubles and has registered 11 20/20 games this year.

The Numbers Game:
At the 2:57 mark of the third quarter, Minnesota owned a 41-28 advantage on the glass. Washington attacked each missed shot and narrowed the gap to 48-44 by the end of the game. Over a 14-minute time span, the Wizards outrebounded the Wolves 16-7.

Rookie Report:
One night after Nikola Pekovic scored a career-high 16 points against Philadelphia, the Wolves center posted 11 of his 13 points in the first half on Saturday. Displaying improved footwork and rising confidence, Pekovic is quickly emerging as another option in the post.

Highlight to Remember:
Luke Ridnour sprinted out on the fastbreak following a Wizards turnover and dropped a dime between his legs to a trailing Michael Beasley, who finished with a left-handed layup. At this moment in the third quarter, Minnesota grabbed a 62-61 lead as Ridnour tallied one of his team-high six assists.

Looking Ahead:
The three-game road trip concluded in Washington and the Wolves returned to Minneapolis early Sunday morning. On Monday night, Minnesota entertains the Mavericks and former Wolves shooting guard Corey Brewer at the Target Center.

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