Love returns from 2-game suspension

Kevin Love’s return from a two-game suspension means the

Minnesota Timberwolves are regaining their leading scorer and

rebounder, and losing a 6-foot-9 cheerleader.

Love was suspended for stepping on Rockets forward Luis Scola

last weekend. He missed a win over Sacramento on Tuesday and a loss

at Memphis, reducing the two-time All-Star to a role he wasn’t used

to playing while he watched the games from his couch at his

downtown Minneapolis home.

”I felt like I almost needed some pom-poms I was cheering so

loud,” Love said on Friday morning after the team’s shootaround in

preparation for the game against Dallas on Friday night.

Love is averaging 25 points and 13.7 rebounds this season. He

also leads the NBA with 39.4 minutes per game. Rookie Derrick

Williams started in Love’s place the previous two games and

delivered two solid performances, but certainly not to the level

the Wolves expect from Love.

Williams had 14 points and eight rebounds and hit a crucial

3-pointer down the stretch to help the Wolves beat the Kings and

had 13 points and nine rebounds in the loss to the Grizzlies.

”It was very tough. I was sitting on my couch tweeting,” Love

said. ”I felt a little bit helpless. I wasn’t able to go out there

and help those guys win and I wasn’t able to make plays for them.

I’m looking forward to getting back on the court and back to

business.”

And the Wolves can’t wait to see their leader back out there

with them.

”It’s great,” center Nikola Pekovic said. ”We missed him

these two games. In the first one we succeeded without him but in

the second game you saw that we really miss him. I’m happy to have

him back.”

Love was named a Western Conference All-Star on Thursday. Last

year he was named as an injury replacement to Yao Ming. This time

around, he made it in without any help.

”I’ve had a great season thus far. I attribute that a lot to

the coaching staff and my teammates and my coaches in helping me

through the season,” Love said. ”To me, it’s definitely a big

deal seeing my name at the top of everybody’s list, so I was very

happy about that because I’ve put in a lot of work in these first 3

1/2 seasons and I don’t have any intentions on stopping.”

Three years ago, former Timberwolves center Al Jefferson went

down with a knee injury just before the All-Star break. He said he

threw one of his shoes through a flat-screen television while

watching his teammates play without him.

Love’s television survived his brief time away. But the same

couldn’t be said for his sound system.

”I did actually break some speakers,” Love said. ”I turned it

on really loud on the last play (during the Kings game). The two

speakers in my kitchen broke. They’re repaired today. Don’t worry

about it.”

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