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Where there's D-Will there's a way: Jazz win another thriller

31 for 31: Kevin Love vs. The New York Knicks

By 11.13.10

A lot of people have made jokes about Kevin Love. Slow. Chubby. Can’t get crunch-time minutes on the worst team in the NBA. Even Clyde Frazier said last night: “(Minnesota) didn’t expect this. I saw him play in college and wasn’t impressed.” But just a few days after he hung 23 points and 24 boards on the Lakers, K-Love outdid himself with a 31-point, 31-rebound effort against the Knicks … Trailing by 21 in the third quarter, Minnesota came back thanks to Michael Beasley (35 pts) canning jumpers all over the place and Love eating the glass — and killing Amar’e Stoudemire — to create putbacks. Love added a three from the top of the key to ice the win … Love might’ve been the best player, but the best game of the night was Oklahoma City’s swagger-building two-point win over Portland. It was basically Russell Westbrook (36 points) and Kevin Durant (34) versus the Blazers. The duo scored OKC’s final 18 points — Durant using his shoulder lean to set up fallaway jumpers, and Westbrook catapulting himself to the rim on every drive. The Blazers had a chance on their final possession, but Rudy Fernandez was short on an open corner three. You can’t complain about your minutes and then miss those shots … The Jazz really need to stop doing this to Jerry Sloan. For the fourth straight game, Utah rode a series of timely Deron Williams buckets in another fourth-quarter comeback win. This time in Atlanta, they trailed by 11 in the fourth yet still rallied to win by four. Al Horford should get the game ball from Sloan; he missed two free throws with 7 seconds left when the Hawks were down by two … After getting a lot of heat for not including Paul Millsap in his ranking of Top 10 NBA power forwards, Dime’s Austin Burton wanted to point out: “When I said the best PF’s today, I’m not just talking about the 8-9 game sample of this season alone. It’s the whole picture of how good a guy is period, plus how he’s playing now.” That said, Josh Smith (#10 on the list) kind of dominated Millsap in their matchup. Smoove was scoring in the post, cleaning the offensive glass, and even throwing cross-court dimes to ATL’s shooters. Smith finished with 20 points, 13 boards and 5 assists, while Millsap went for 11 points and 6 rebounds … With so much attention being paid to the Heat, nobody is talking about the Orlando Magic’s recent struggles. Dwight Howard and Co. were, if you remember, destroyed by that same Heat team, and earlier this week blew a big second-half lead to the Jazz at home. Then last night, Orlando dropped one to the Raptors at home … After Andrea Bargnani (27 pts) rained Italian Hell in the first half and DeMar DeRozan (26 pts) dominated the second, in the end it came down to the ratchet of Sonny Weems. Tied up in the final seconds, Toronto let Jarrett Jack go 1-on-1 against Vince Carter, but when he couldn’t get a shot, he found Weems beyond the arc for a too-open triple. Dwight got caught on a switch, didn’t close out on Weems, and paid for it. (“Frozen. Ya done!” cackled one T-Dot announcer.) Speaking of the Raps’ broadcast team, you’re not gonna hear anyone scream “Money shot!” with such emotion unless you’re paying a monthly fee … Orlando had one more shot, but Jose Calderon made a great defensive play — no, seriously, he did — and intercepted the inbounds before sealing it at the line … Other big stat lines from Friday: Charlie Villanueva scored 30 to lead Detroit past the Clippers, while Blake Griffin had 18 points and 18 boards in the loss; Gerald Wallace put up 25 points and 14 boards as Charlotte beat Washington; Steve Nash scored 28 in Phoenix’s win over Sacramento; Brad Miller dropped 23 points in Houston’s win at Indiana; and Jason Kidd had 10 points, 8 dimes and 4 steals and cracked 11,000 assists for his career in Dallas’ win over Philly … Did you see what Andre Iguodala did to Brian Cardinal? Ridiculous dunk, shades of Ricky Davis over Steve Nash back in the day. Although A.I.2 didn’t unleash an “OH SH*T!” after disrespecting Cardinal … Many of the top college programs opened up last night as well. While the competition wasn’t noteworthy, the freshmen talent was. The reigning Dime/2K Sports H.S. Player of the Year, Jared Sullinger, went for 19 points and 14 rebounds in Ohio State’s debut. UNC All-American Harrison Barnes contributed 14 points for the Tar Heels in an easy win. And at Freshmen Central, Kentucky unveiled its new stars: Brandon Knight poured in 17 points and 5 assists, and Terrance Jones went off for 25 and 12 boards in another win in Lexington … We’re out like doubting K-Love again …


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