Love scores 19 but Wolves fall to Clippers

By Jon Krawczynski
Associated Press

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

shooting.

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

right way.

“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