Kevin Love on his game-winner
January, 21, 2012
By Kevin Arnovitz
It's rare a guy gets a look this clean on a side out-of-bounds play with the game on the line. A player in the Clippers' locker room referred to it simply as "a great call" by Rick Adelman, one the Timberwolves coach said he'd drawn up in the past for Brad Miller.
Kevin Love described what transpired and how he managed to get so much space to launch the game-winning 3-pointer:
I knew DeAndre [Jordan] was switching out on me. How [the Clippers] played it, I knew I was going to have a chance to get an open shot and win the game. Luke [Ridnour] hit me with a good pass. Ricky [Rubio] and Wayne [Ellington] made a good screen and I made a good shot. It was a well-executed play and a good play drawn up by coach Adelman.
... [Jordan] was just behind the play. Luke said that once he let go of the pass and he saw DeAndre behind the ball, he knew the shot was in. You could see on the replay that Luke was running away from the play afterwards because he knew it was in. Coach set up a great play for us. How I was that wide open, I don't really know but I got a good look at it and I hit it.
... I tried to throw up my hands as soon as I shot it because it felt great when it left my hands. I knew it was in.
When you watch the replay [0:55 mark of the highlight above], it's clear that Ridnour and Love are correct. Jordan stood below the foul line as Ridnour first faked a pass to a curling Derrick Williams, then made the easy entry to a wide open Love at the top of the arc. Asked how he was taken out of the play, Jordan said he was "triple-screened." Though there were only two Minnesota screeners, it was enough to squeeze Jordan out and give Love all kinds of real estate on the perimeter.
"We didn't fight through [the double-screen]," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. Was that Jordan's responsibility, or were Randy Foye and Ryan Gomes supposed to switch out onto Love, as Love suggested?
"I'll have to look at it," Del Negro said. "There's nothing we didn't go over -- we just didn't do the coverage like we were supposed to do."