A Timberwolves team that started the season searching for one player who could win games in the final moments now is discovering after Friday’s 116-108 victory over Dallas and a 4-2 season start that it just might have two. Two Wolves players had scored 30 points in the same game 15 times in the franchise’s first 24 seasons. Now, here in the 25th anniversary season, they’ve had two guys do it twice within five days. On Friday at Target Center, two-time All Star Kevin Love and newcomer Kevin Martin reprised Sunday’s dueling 30-point performances at Madison Square Garden by doing it again, this time with a pair of 32-point evenings that pushed away the Mavericks in the final three minutes when it always matters most. Love was aimed at his first career triple-double — one he never did quite reach — after a nine-point, nine-rebound, six-assist first quarter during which he played quarterback with his long outlet passes and Corey Brewer played wide receiver and the Wolves built an early 10-point lead that they soon gave back. Love finished with 32 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists. “He makes the best passes I ever saw,” said Brewer, who scored 13 of his 17 points in the first quarter. “I just go catch ’em and lay ’em in.” Martin scored 23 of his 32 points in the second half and 12 in the fourth quarter when the Mavericks cut an 11-point, third-quarter deficit to just three points with 3:34 left before Love and Martin scored the next seven points to push Dallas away for good. “It helps, helps your offense, helps you look a lot better,” Wolves coach Rick Adelman said in the understatement of the night. “If you don’t have somebody to go to to finish the game, you’re going to have a hard time.” Dallas’ 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki has been that guy for his team for most of the last 15 seasons with that one-legged, fadeaway shot that Adelman reminded Friday you can’t teach or stop. On Friday, however, the Wolves limited him to 14 points on just 11 field-goal attempts, only four after halftime. This time, Love and Martin in tandem delivered the shots Dallas could not defend. Love’s step-back three-pointer out of a timeout with 2:12 left made it 108-102 after the Mavericks got within three points. And his fadeaway jumper a minute later that made it an eight-point game evoked Nowitzki’s trademark shot, only Love shot it on two feet.
Love just misses triple-double in Wolves' victory over Dallas
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Nov 9