Kevin Love Suspended 2 Games
Timberwolves forward Kevin Love has been suspended two games without pay for stepping on Houston Rockets’ Luis Scola as Scola was lying on the floor, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations.
The incident, which has been upgraded by the league office to a Flagrant Foul Two on Love, occurred with 8:34 remaining in the third quarter of the Timberwolves’ 100-91 win over the Rockets at Target Center in Minneapolis on Feb. 4.
Love said he went to the Rockets' locker room after the game and apologized for the incident to Scola, the team and the coaches.
“We got to talking about it, and as long as Luis and the Rockets are OK, then I’m OK with it,” Love said. “I feel like it was a learning experience, and it won’t happen again. There were no ill-intentions. I was trying to get him on a foul on the way up. I wasn’t trying to stomp him or anything like that. Just moving forward, and hopefully we win these next few games.”
Love will serve his suspension Tuesday, Feb. 7 when the Timberwolves play the Sacramento Kings at Target Center and Wednesday, Feb. 8 when Minnesota plays the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum.
Love said it’s been a physical year on the court, and he doesn’t want to be defined by the incident.
“I want to be known as a stand-up guy that happened to make a mistake,” Love said.
Wolves coach Rick Adelman said he’s talked to Love about the incident and said it was a culmination of consecutive possessions where no fouls were called. He said future situations can’t escalate to that level of physicality.
“If there’s anything I’d say is it can’t get that physical,” Adelman said. “But it happened and Kevin has to learn a lesson from it just like the whole team does. You’ve got to play through, you’ve got to play with emotion but you can’t let it affect you on the court.”
Love finished with 25 points and 18 rebounds in the game, while Scola chipped in 24 points and eight rebounds for the Rockets. Minnesota picked up the win—its second in three games against Houston in the past two weeks—and in the process reached .500 for the first time this late in a season since 2006-07.
Now, the Wolves will be tasked with holding on to that .500 record without Love for the next two games, both coming against teams the Timberwolves have faced already this season. Minnesota beat Sacramento 99-86 on Jan. 16 and lost to Memphis 90-86 on Jan. 4. Both were played at Target Center.
Love said he needs to be prepared when he comes back against Dallas on Friday at Target Center.
“Have to be ready to stay in shape and be ready to go when the time comes,” Love said. “I have some rest, I just wish I could be here to cheer them on. That won’t be the case, but I’ll cheer form home.”
Love is fourth in the league in points (25.0), second in rebounding (13.7) and first in minutes (39.4) per game this season. He leads the league with 22 double-doubles in 24 games.
He said the incident was a learning experience, and all he can do is go out and play the right way. He said it won’t happen again.
“This is my first time I’ve ever been suspended,” Love said. “I’m not a repeat offender.”
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