Love finished with an amazing 43 points and 19 rebounds in a spectacular game considering he came into the contest with a sore ankle from the previous night. He showed no signs of the injury, as he wreaked havoc down low against the big men for the Hawks. Atlanta had no answer for the Western Conference All-Star and needed a big offensive performance of their own to stave off the Timberwolves. Every time Love hit a big shot to close the gap, Atlanta answered with a big shot of their own to not allow Minnesota to claw out of Philips Arena with a big road win.
The Hawks may not have a player with the caliber of Love on their team, but unlike the Timberwolves, they don’t rely on just one player to win games. Last night, Kyle Korver stepped up to provide the Hawks with one of his better games of the season in order to outlast Minnesota. He finished with 24 points to lead his team in scoring and provided the necessary spark on offense in the second half to guide his team to the win.
In the third quarter, Atlanta trailed until Korver hit a trio of three-pointers to take the lead, which the Hawks never gave up for the rest of the game. Corey Brewer tried to stop one of the league’s best shooters and was almost successful after he prevented Korver from hitting a three in the first half. However, the three-point specialist came out red-hot following a fiery halftime speech from his coach Mike Budenholzer. He went 7-for-9 from the field and showed that he can not only shot the ball from outside, but he can also attack the rim to draw fouls. Korver made 7-of-8 from the free throw line, which included a couple late in the game to close it out.
Love gave it his best shot and tried to defeat Atlanta after he scored 21 of his 43 points in the fourth quarter alone. He’s beaten every team in the NBA besides the Hawks and wanted to win this one badly, as evidenced by his performance. However, at the end, his effort was not enough to overcome an Atlanta team that is clicking on all cylinders offensively.