If Kevin Love keeps this up, it won't seem so extraordinary to hear him mentioned along with LeBron James or Kevin Durant as a candidate for the NBA Most Valuable Player Award.

Love is edging into those conversations as he continues to put up rare numbers for a power forward. In the Timberwolves' past three games, he is averaging 34.6 points and 12.3 rebounds, has made 11 three-pointers and is asserting himself as a go-to player with the game on the line.

"The guys who take and make shots at the end of games, those are the guys who often get mentioned for MVP," Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. "Kevin is worthy of that consideration. He deserves to be talked about in that area."

The MVP talk would become more serious if the Wolves (20-19), who face Portland tonight at Target Center, keep winning and secure a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Love's numbers this season are comparable to any of the elite MVP contenders, but what separates Love from James, Durant, Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose is his team's near-.500 record.