While their teams sit near the bottom of the Western Conference,
Blake Griffin and Kevin Love continue to put up impressive numbers
on a nightly basis.
Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers seek a season-best third
straight win while trying to avenge a last-second loss when they
host Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.
Griffin registered his 15th consecutive double-double with 29
points and 12 rebounds as the Clippers held on for a 100-99 victory
at Chicago on Saturday.
“We’re definitely improving, that’s evident,” said Griffin,
averaging 24.3 points and 13.8 boards during his double-double run.
“I was just being aggressive. Thankfully I hit some shots early and
it got me going.”
Griffin scored 26 points and pulled down 17 rebounds against the
Timberwolves Nov. 17, but it wasn’t enough thanks to Michael
Beasley. The Minnesota forward scored 33 points and hit the winning
shot with 2.3 seconds to go in a 113-111 home victory.
Griffin has 21 double-doubles, second in the NBA behind Love’s
Love is coming off a spectacular effort, scoring 43 points and
going 5 of 5 from 3-point range while grabbing 17 rebounds in a
115-113 loss to Denver on Saturday. His 14th consecutive
double-double came in Minnesota’s 11th straight road defeat.
“I can see why, when I look at the stat sheet on numerous
nights, he has 20 and 20,” the Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony said of
The Timberwolves (6-22) lost by average of 16.3 points in their
first 13 road losses but kept the three most recent away games
close, falling by a total of 13.
“It is getting frustrating, but we stay hungry because we are
young and we have veteran guys who have come from winning
situations and they aren’t giving up on this team,” Love said.
“We’re trying to get better in the here and now, but we’re also
looking to the future, on growing together and becoming a good
The Timberwolves rank near the bottom of league in points
allowed with 109.9 and are also near the bottom with 112.6 given up
on the road. Minnesota has gone 1-28 in its last 29 away from
Beasley scored 17 points versus Denver but shot 7 of 18.
Big man Darko Milicic was unavailable Saturday after sustaining
an ankle injury Friday. Milicic, among the league leaders with 2.6
blocks per game, is uncertain to play Monday.
The Timberwolves are on the verge of matching their season-high
12-game road losing streak of 2009-10.
Los Angeles beat Detroit 109-88 on Friday for its first road win
of the season, and the Bulls’ Derrick Rose missed the second of two
free throws with 0.8 remaining the next day. That gave the Clippers
back-to-back away victories for the first time since Nov. 27-Dec.
The Clippers have averaged 84.7 points during a three-game
losing streak at Staples Center, but have scored 109.3 in their
last three meetings with the Timberwolves.
Guard Eric Gordon, who leads the Clippers with 23.4 points per
contest, has averaged 15.3 points in his last three. Gordon scored
30 when the teams met in November.
Los Angeles had lost four of five home meetings with Minnesota
before taking the last two.