NEW YORK – Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman delivered a pointed reply when asked after Sunday’s loss at Brooklyn how the Nets held down All-Star forward Kevin Love to 14 points and nine rebounds.
“They held him all game,” Adelman said. “Just being honest.”
Love scored just two points and had three rebounds after halftime and played fewer than 4 minutes in the fourth quarter when he was pulled with more than 2 minutes left with the game out of reach.
He acknowledged the Nets were physical but added every team tries to play him physically.
“They did a good job, but it was really just me being exhausted,” Love said. “I couldn’t find any energy in the second half. That was really it. They did a good job, but I don’t know…”
Asked if his exhaustion was the toll of a season in which he has been needed to do so much, he said, “I don’t know, I might be getting sick or something. I just had zero energy in the second half. I got nothing.”
Adelman crediting the Nets for surrounding Love with active bodies. “They crowded him, that’s what they tried to do,” he said. “I thought they [the officials] allowed a lot, but then again, we have to do something to respond to that. Other guys have to step up and do it.”
Stealing away a record
Ricky Rubio set the franchise record for most steals in a season with his 176th when he created one less than 4 minutes into the game. The previous record of 175 was set by Tyrone Corbin way back in the team’s inaugural season, 1989-90.
“Just trying to do my job, you know?” Rubio said. “If that comes it’s wonderful, but I’d rather win more games than have the stats.”
Gazing into the crystal ball
Love chatted with his agent Jeff Schwartz outside the team’s locker room at length before the game. Schwartz is based in New York, and the two men ultimately will decide whether Love re-signs with the team after he opts out of his contract in July 2015 or goes elsewhere as an unrestricted free agent.
After Friday’s victory over the Lakers, a Los Angeles reporter asked Love about how that team’s fan base is salivating in anticipation of his arrival in 2015.
“You know, my parents lived there and they had me there, it’s not my fault,” Love said. “I don’t care about that right now.”
Pride’s on the line
Forward Corey Brewer contemplated the Wolves’ upcoming weekend schedule to see if it would allow a trip to Dallas to watch his Florida Gators play in the Final Four.
Alas, the Wolves play at Orlando on Saturday night, the same day as the Gators’ semifinal game against Connecticut. They don’t play that next Monday — title-game night — but teammate A.J. Price chimed in from the next stall, “They’re going to be gone by then.”
Price, of course, attended Connecticut and admitted Sunday he didn’t even fill out a NCAA tournament bracket. “To be honest, I didn’t have them going to the Final Four,” he said.
• Nikola Pekovic started his second consecutive game at center and played nearly 27 minutes.
• Rookie Gorgui Dieng reached double digits in rebounds for the sixth time in his past eight games.