Timberwolves' Kevin Love hits OT game-winner to beat Mavericks
With less than 30 seconds remaining and Dallas leading by one, Love went to work at the top of the key against Devin Harris, who picked him up on a switch. As Love milked the clock, the Timberwolves cleared out the left wing to allow their All-Star forward to post up against the smaller defender.
Dallas eventually rushed Shawn Marion at Love as he turned back towards the middle, but Love pivoted away from Marion, pump-faked a shot and then squeezed between the two defenders to get a clean look at the hoop. Brandan Wright then attempted to provide a second layer of help defense on the play, but he was too late, as Love flipped up a right-handed shot from just outside the protected circle. The game-winner swished through with 17.1 seconds remaining.
Dirk Nowitzki had a chance to answer on the other end but he couldn't deliver on a jumper of his own.
The late-game heroics provided Love and the Timberwolves with a measure of redemption against the Mavericks, as the two teams were involved in a disputed contest back in December. Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman and Love both felt at the time that Love was fouled while attempting a jumper in the closing seconds of a two-point loss to the Mavericks, and the NBA league office later issued a statement admitting that the referees had erred in not blowing the whistle. Timberwolves radio broadcaster Alan Horton famously screamed "OH, ED MALLOY!" in frustration at the referee's no-call.
Love finished with a game-high 35 points (on 11-for-20 shooting), eight rebounds and three assists on Wednesday. Ricky Rubio added 22 points (on 8-for-12 shooting), 15 assists, 10 rebounds and four steals in the win.
Nowitzki led Dallas with 27 points (on 11-for-27 shooting) and three rebounds. Marion chipped in 16 points (on 8-for-12 shooting), 11 rebounds and five assists in a losing effort. Minnesota improved to 34-32 with their second straight win. Dallas dropped to 41-28 with the loss.