The Minnesota Timberwolves were in desperate need of a win on Saturday night as they hosted the Detroit Pistons, and fortunately for fans of the T-Wolves, they had Kevin Love on their side.
Love finished with 28 points (10-18 FG, 3-7 3-PT), 14 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals in just 36 minutes of game action, and when the dust settled, that was enough to lead Minnesota to a 114-101 victory. Of course, Love wasn’t the only one who played well for the T-Wolves, and the trio of Kevin Martin, Ricky Rubio, and Nikola Pekovic each had something to claim during the win.
Martin scored an ultra-efficient 24 points on just 16 shot attempts, providing the consistent scoring punch alongside Love that Minnesota always needs, and Rubio flanked him with a near triple-double with 11 points, 9 assists, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals. Up front, Pekovic scored 17 points and grabbed 9 rebounds despite a rough shooting night (5 for 14), and he was also effective against a big Detroit front line in limiting the Pistons offensively.
On the Detroit side, this is a devastating loss. The Pistons are still enjoying faint hope of a playoff spot as they sit at #9 in the Eastern Conference, but even as the 8th-seeded Hawks continue to struggle, Detroit can’t seem to capitalize. Greg Monroe (20 points, 15 rebounds) and Brandon Jennings (17 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists) had nice games for the Pistons, but the loss was Detroit’s 6th in 7 games, and at 24-38, things are not looking fantastic in the Motor City.
With a 4.5 game deficit in the Western Conference, the T-Wolves are far from a sure thing with regard to the playoffs, but if Kevin Love has anything to say about it, they won’t be going away anytime soon.