Griffin tops Love in Timberwolves loss
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Blake Griffin stole the show in a matchup of All-Star power forwards with 29 points, eight rebounds and five assists to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 98-90 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.
Former Timberwolves Randy Foye scored 21 points and Ryan Gomes added 18 to help the Clippers to just their second win of an eight-game road trip.
Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Love had 18 points and 18 rebounds for his 42nd double-double in a row. But he was slowed in the second quarter after briefly leaving with a right shoulder injury and didn't have near the impact of Griffin, who will play with Love on the Western Conference team on Sunday in Los Angeles.
The Wolves shot 35 percent and missed 11 free throws to lose their fourth straight game. They are 0-5 at home in February.
The Timberwolves were missing Michael Beasley for the fifth game in a row because of a sprained left ankle. They also shut point guard Jonny Flynn for a week to continue his recovery from hip surgery.
Love got off to a fast start with six points and 10 rebounds in the first quarter, but he was slowed in the second when he bruised his right shoulder.
The Clippers have traveled more than 6,500 miles on the road trip thanks to the Grammy Awards being held at Staples Center.
Griffin has become one of the biggest attractions in the NBA during a sensational rookie season, and he gave the curious crowd what they came for with a soaring one-handed dunk three minutes into the game. He had another breakaway later in the quarter and leaped high in the air, his head above the rim, before softly throwing the ball through the basket.
That didn't sit well with the Target Center crowd, which booed him more loudly than they have the struggling home team at any point this season.
Griffin obliged later in the game with two more sky-walking dunks, one on an alley-oop from Eric Bledsoe, and nearly knocked himself out in the final two minutes.
Baron Davis tossed another alley-oop toward the rim, and Griffin leaped into the air only to hit his head on the side of the backboard, perhaps his greatest display of athleticism of the night.
NOTES: Love's 51 double-doubles before the All-Star break is a league record. George Mikan had 50 in 1950. ... Wolves rookie Wes Johnson was 0 for 2 in 10 minutes and is 4-for-25 in his last four games. ... Gomes' 18 points were his most in the last 27 games. ... The Clippers go home for the break, but have three more road games after the break.