Love-less Wolves welcome Kings to Twin Cities
The Minnesota Timberwolves will be without star forward Kevin Love for the next two games because of a suspension and will move on tonight versus the Sacramento Kings from the Target Center.
Love was slapped with a two-game penalty for stomping on Houston's Luis Scola during the third quarter of a 100-91 victory on Saturday. The incident occurred in the third quarter when Love drove his foot into the upper body of Scola, who was lying on the floor. The league office also upgraded the foul to a Flagrant Two. Love, who went into the locker room following Saturday's game to apologize, made a public apology Monday after the suspension was announced.
"I want to publicly apologize to Luis Scola and the Houston Rockets," Love said in a statement. "My intention is to never hurt another player on the basketball court. I've always had the utmost respect for the game of basketball and all of my opponents. I also apologize to my coaches, teammates and our fans for the consequences of my actions."
Love will sit out Tuesday against Sacramento and Wednesday against Memphis. He leads the Wolves with averages of 25.0 points and 13.7 rebounds in 24 games this season.
The Wolves have won two straight and five of their last seven games, and reached the .500 mark with that win over Houston. Love had 25 points and 18 rebounds, while Luke Ridnour added 22 points and rookie Ricky Rubio finished with 13 points and 11 assists. Minnesota improved to 6-8 in the Twin Cities.
Sacramento will try to extend its season-high winning streak to four games when it closes out a brief two-game road trip Tuesday. It posted its third straight win last night with a 100-92 victory at New Orleans, as DeMarcus Cousins registered 28 points and 19 rebounds to lead the charge.
"I just wanted to go out and help our team get this win tonight," said Cousins. "Put all the stats aside, the main thing is we got the win tonight and that's all that matters."
Tyreke Evans and rookie Isaiah Thomas had 20 and 17 points, respectively, for the Kings, who got 12 points from Marcus Thornton and 10 out of John Salmons.
After tonight's game the Kings will return to California's capital for a pair of games and will then head east for a six-game road trip.
Cousins has recorded 16 double-doubles this season, third-most in the NBA this season behind Love and Dwight Howard. Cousins should be able to post his 17th with Love out of the lineup tonight.
The Kings suffered a 99-86 loss at Minnesota on Jan. 16 this season. Love had 33 points and 11 rebounds, while Cousins posted only 10 points and three assists. The Wolves have won four of the last seven games in this series.