Let's just recap the final seconds, because my hands are still a little shaky! :) (I might be being a bit dramatic) With 20 seconds left in the game, Ricky Rubio found himself wide open for a corner three, right in front of the Clippers bench. He made just one field goal on the night--and it was that tying three-pointer with just 20 seconds to go.
Clippers ball, tied 98-all, 20 seconds to go, of course they're going to Mr. Big Shot: Chauncey Billups. With just 6 seconds to go, Billups drove the lane on Rubio and went for the layup, Rubio was able to just barely tip the ball and the shot rolled off, a tenacious rebound by Kevin Love--Rick Adelman called the timeout with 0.9 seconds to go. The refs added 0.6 more on the clock--for 1.5 to go--still tied at 98.
The final play, Kevin Love popped out to the arc and found himself wide-open, rose up and knocked it down as the buzzer sounded and the Wolves rolled out of the Staples Center with a 3-point W!
If Love doesn't get that extension by early next week (before of course the Jan. 25th deadline), you're going to have a lot of furious Wolves fans (and you can trust me, when I say, there's A LOT more of them this season!).
Surprisingly, Kevin Love didn't lead the Wolves in scoring! It was big man....Darko Milicic. We'll get to those stats in a moment however.
The Timberwolves mounted a comeback after Clippers reserve guard Mo Williams was ejected. Over the final 6:21 of the game, the Timberwolves went on a 16-9 run which was part of a 24-9 run to close the game.
The Clippers were without two starters: Chris Paul & Caron Butler. Paul out with a strained hamstring & Butler out with a hyperextended knee. The Wolves were without J.J. Barea who's missing this weekend's road trip with a sore ankle and of course, once again--Michael Beasley. Beyond the other three players (Lee, Webster, Miller) who haven't played this season.
Let's take a look at some of tonight's key players...
Darko Milicic: 22pts, 7rebs, 2ast, 2blks, 3tos, 6fls, 10-15 FG, 2-5 FT, in 34 min.
Kevin Love: 17pts, 14rebs, 3ast, 1stl, 2fls, 5-16 FG, 2-3 3PT, 5-6 FT, in 36 min.
L. Ridnour: 13pts, 3rebs, 6ast, 1to, 3fls, 3-11 FG, 0-4 3PT, 7-9 FT, in 38 min.
W. Ellington: 13pts, 1reb, 6-9 FG, 1-2 3PT, in 31 bench min.
Mo Williams: 25pts, 3rebs, 5ast, 1stl, 3tos, 4fls, 10-15 FG, 3-5 3PT, 2-2 FT, in 31 bench min.
Blake Griffin: 21pts, 10rebs, 2ast, 1stl, 5tos, 3fls, 7-17 FG, 7-11 FT, in 38 min.
C. Billups: 20pts, 5rebs, 1ast, 4tos, 4fls, 6-13 FG, 3-6 3PT, 5-6 FT, in 28 min.
For the Clippers, it was the opposite--the guards dominated. Williams & Billups led the way with two of the Clippers' top players out (Bulter & Paul). If Williams hadn't gotten ejected in the second half, his continued offense may have buried the Wolves permanently! Blake Griffin did outscore Love, but you've got to give the edge to Love--with that buzzer-beating, game-winner!
Fast Break PTS
PTS in Paint
Team TOs (PTS off)
All right, I think I've recovered, it was an incredibly fun final quarter and I hope you stayed up late to catch it. I'll be posting some pictures tonight. I'll also be updating the stats & injury report pages tonight. Tomorrow we'll have some updates on the quotes page as well as a video recap/highlights and tomorrow's gameday preview vs. Utah. Thanks for reading HOWL! GO WOLVES!