Coming back from a broken hand, Minnesota Timberwolves’ star big man Kevin Love made his season debut on Wednesday night in a game against the Denver Nuggets. Love looked he he hadn’t missed a beat, scoring 34 points and collecting 14 rebounds in the game, but it was not enough to earn a victory, as the Nuggets prevailed 101-94.
The Wolves went 5-4 without Love, who shocked fans by returning a week ahead of schedule. The other Minnesota wounded haven’t been as lucky. The T-Wolves have been decimated with injuries so far this season and are also currently playing without Ricky Rubio and Brandon Roy. Love wasn’t as prepared as he would have liked to be, but he knew he had to try and help his team.
“I haven’t even practiced, so I just kind of threw myself into the game hoping something good was going to happen,” Love said via ESPN.com. “I missed some free throws, missed some threes that I don’t usually miss. A lot of those could have saved us the game.”
No one else was prepared for Love starting, including his opponents, the Nuggets, but they adjusted well enough to pick up the much-needed win.
“I saw him shooting before the game and I didn’t think he was playing, but they said he was playing before the game,” Andre Iguodala said. “The whole thing is the NBA is about adjustments anyway. … That’s good that our team was able to adjust to his presence. He started off great and then we had to adjust and try to slow him down a little bit in the second half.”
Iguodala led the way for Denver with 18 points and nine rebounds, but got plenty of help as four other Nuggets hit double figures, including Ty Lawson (18 points) and Danilo Gallinari (19 points).
Minnesota will look to bounce back Friday against Portland, as Love makes a trip home, while the Nuggets will look to keep things rolling against Golden State on Friday.