The Los Angeles Clippers took on the Minnesota Timberwolves last night at the Staples Center, which was a game highlighted by the two power forwards. Whenever these teams go head-to-head these days it’s all about the matchup between Blake Griffin and Kevin Love.
So this game had all kinds of potential to be a great one like always, especially since Love just returned from an injury. However, last night’s game just wasn’t your typical showdown between the two all-stars.
They got their one-on-one matchups against each other throughout the game, but neither of them were on their A game. It was clear that Love wasn’t fully recovered from his broken hand injury as he struggled with his shot all night. He can usually step back and knock down the jumper from behind the arc pretty consistently, but not last night. He finished the game shooting just 3-12 from the field and 1-5 from three point land. Most of his points came at the free throw line, where he made 12-16 on the night. It was still pretty amazing to see Love record another double-double (19 points and 12 rebounds), while clearly playing with pain in that right hand. (I’m convinced that this guy can record a double-double blind folded….seriously.)
It was a tough night for Griffin as well, who was coming off of the worst performance of his career, scoring just four points against the New Orleans Hornets on Monday night. In comparison to that Monday night game Griffin actually played great. In this game he finished with 18 points and six rebounds, but got himself into some foul trouble. Many of the Clippers players got into foul trouble though, mainly due to the physical play by Love inside the paint. Griffin finished the game shooting 9-17 from the field.
The Clippers won the game 101-95 and snapped their four-game losing streak.
So it wasn’t the ideal power forward matchup that NBA fans had hoped for this time, but these guys will battle it out again this season. The next meeting between the two will be on January 17th in Minnesota, so clear your schedules.
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