Love scores 19 but Wolves fall to Clippers
By Jon Krawczynski
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Chris Kaman, Marcus
Camby and Baron Davis are all finally healthy at the same time, and
what a difference it is making for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Kaman had 23 points and 10 rebounds,
while Camby had 10 points, 18 rebounds, six assists and five blocks to
lead the Clippers to a 120-95 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves
on Wednesday night.
Davis had 13 points, 13 assists and
eight rebounds, and Eric Gordon scored 25 for the Clippers (11-13), who
have won seven of their last 11 games following a 4-9 start.
“It’s kind of like a quarterback and
a wide receiver,” Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. “I don’t know how
long it takes guys to get chemistry, but Baron and Kaman are starting
to develop a chemistry to where they play. Their pick-and-roll play
where Baron is delivering the ball to Kaman in the right places and
he’s making shots because he’s getting the ball in rhythm, where he
shoots the ball from.”
Kaman and Davis played only 28 games
together last season because of injury, including just 14 in the final
five months of the season. They have already played 24 together this
year. Camby also missed 20 games last season.
“Last year I loved it at the
beginning of the year being on the floor the same time as Marcus,” said
Kaman, who has four double-doubles in his last five games. “But then I
got hurt and I wasn’t able to finish the season at all really.”
Reserve Rasual Butler scored 21 points and the Clippers posted season highs in points and assists (30).
Kevin Love had 19 points and 12
rebounds for the Timberwolves, who were looking to win back-to-back
games for the first time this season.
The Timberwolves allowed the Clippers
to shoot 52 percent from the field and basically do whatever they
wanted on the offensive end.
Al Jefferson and Love, both listed
at 6-10, had good nights on the offensive end, but couldn’t handle
Kaman on defense. Jefferson had 18 points and eight rebounds.
“This was a big step backward in my mind,” Wolves coach Kurt Rambis said.
The Timberwolves shot 54 percent in
the first quarter, but just 33 percent the rest of the way in a
disappointing performance coming off an inspiring win at Utah on
Monday. Rookie point guard Jonny Flynn’s layup lifted the Wolves to a
110-108 victory over the Jazz.
But they followed it up with a
lackluster effort on both ends of the floor Wednesday night. After
scoring 28 points against the Jazz, Flynn managed just nine on 3-for-12
The Clippers entered the night
having played only eight games away from home all season. That’s fewer
than every team except the Lakers. They are going to start catching up
now, having started a six-game road trip in chilly Minneapolis the
“All around, we’ve been playing
better,” Kaman said. “Guys have been playing better, shooting the ball
better and just playing better as a team. Guys are getting more
comfortable playing with each other and it’s been good so far.”
The Clippers took control midway
through the second quarter when Gordon, their leading scorer, went to
the bench for a rest. Butler made three 3-pointers and the Clippers
went on a 19-2 run in less than five minutes.
The Timberwolves missed nine
straight shots during that stretch and didn’t make a field goal for
almost seven minutes, but were even worse on defense. After Craig
Smith’s easy layup gave Los Angeles a 46-39 lead, Rambis called timeout
and screamed at his team to play better defense.
It didn’t help.
“Our defense was abysmal tonight,” Rambis said.
Los Angeles added another 11-0 spurt
in the third quarter and broke the game wide open with a 9-0 run early
in the fourth for a 20-point lead.
“We just looked out of gas,” Love said. “We looked like our foot was set in stone. Slow as molasses, you could say.”
NOTES: Former Timberwolves F Craig
Smith got a nice ovation when he entered for the Clippers in the first
quarter. It was his first game back since being traded this summer. …
Timberwolves F Ryan Gomes missed his second straight game with a high
left ankle sprain. He is day to day. … Clippers PG Sebastian Telfair
had a nasty fall in the second quarter and bruised his right hip but
did return to play.
Updated December 16, 2009