A Friday night game featuring the Clips and the T’wolves would’ve got the gas face anytime before this season. News of an injured Chris Paul probably had cats heading for the club as well instead of staying in to watch ball. Nevertheless, the match up was anything but a toilet bowl. Funny how a game between two less reputable franchises ended up far better than one featuring stalwarts in the LA Lakers and Orlando Magic. However that’s how it went down in Friday’s double header.
Mo Williams shot lights out until his second tech saw him ejected; his untimely exit set off the Clippers’ slow free fall. LA could’ve sealed the deal on multiple occasions but Minnesota’s perseverance amidst some nervous moments paid off. Ricky Rubio threw up all kinds of clangers and two air balls. Yet his corner three-point shot and key stop on Chauncey’s go ahead layup gave the Wolves enough time to set up one last shot after advancing the ball. What followed provided straight up brain candy for basketball nerds. A smart inbounds play freed upon Kevin Love’s game winning three from well behind the line. Kevin Love had a rough shooting night but, with ESPN setting the stage, he put a few folks on to his range in convincing fashion. I’ve side-eyed the Love bandwagon but I’ll give credit where it’s due. A miss would’ve given the Clippers new life in OT and, with the Wolves’ suspect track record in close games, Minnesota could’ve left Staples Center with another L. This dramatic W should help bolster their composure going forward.
ESPN’s schtick all last night pitted Blake Griffin and Love against one another and, in my eyes, it boils down as follows: Griffin’s the most athletic 4 in the league but Love’s a more skilled scorer than his Kia-schilling counterpart. The comparison doesn’t matter much anyway since LaMarcus Aldridge has both beat overall.
Here’s one last note. I gotta shout out the homey Darko Milicic for coming up huge. Dude dropped 22 on 10-15 and blocked a couple of Griffin’s shots before he fouled out. Sometimes. the biggest contributions come from the least likely candidates.