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Monday, January 3, 2011
'Love'fest in Boston, but Celtics prevail

By ESPN Stats & Info

There was a Kevin putting up monster numbers in the TD Garden on Monday night. But it wasn't Garnett, and this Kevin couldn’t do enough to lead his team to victory.

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love continued his monstrous season, his 24 rebounds breaking Dikembe Mutombo’s decade-old record for most rebounds in a game on Boston’s floor.

But as has been the case since the trade for Kevin Garnett, Boston prevailed, 96-93, thanks to big games from Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo (16 assists). The Celtics are now 7-0 against the Timberwolves since the Garnett deal, winning three times when he didn’t even play.

And since that trade, we remind you that the Celtics have the best record in the NBA. The Timberwolves have the worst.

Von Wafer
Wafer
Love may have had the night’s biggest number, but Celtics guard Von Wafer may have quietly outdone him. Wafer had 10 points and six rebounds in 15 minutes in the win. More significantly, the Celtics outscored the Timberwolves by 16 points with Wafer on the floor (they were outscored by 13 with him on the bench, and coincidentally guard Ray Allen was minus-13 for the game).

The plus-16 for Wafer was the fourth-best plus-minus in his 136 NBA games, the best since a plus-20 for the Houston Rockets in a 107-97 win over the Toronto Raptors on March 3, 2009. Monday's game was Wafer’s sixth straight with a positive plus-minus rating.

Elsewhere in the NBA:
• LeBron James matched his season high with 38 points and Dwyane Wade added 31 in the Miami Heat’s 96-82 win over the Charlotte Bobcats. They're the first pair of Heat teammates to score 30-or-more points in the same game since Wade and Mario Chalmers last season. The Heat have won 11 straight road games, the first team to do that since the 2007-2008 Rockets won 12 in a row.

Charlotte missed 18 consecutive shots in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, the longest such streak in franchise history, as well as the longest in the NBA this season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

• The Golden State Warriors couldn’t hold a halftime lead against one of the NBA’s best for the second straight game, losing 110-90 to the Orlando Magic. In their last two games against the Heat and Magic, the Warriors have outscored their opponents by 23 points in the first half, but have been outscored by 50 points in the second half.

Deron Williams
Williams
• Deron Williams had his 13th 20-point/10-assist game of the season in the Utah Jazz’ 102-97 win over the Detroit Pistons. His 20-10 total is four more than any other player in the NBA (Raymond Felton of the New York Knicks ranks second with nine).

• Speaking of the Knicks, they learned that they’ll have deal with basketball life without Danilo Gallinari beginning when they host the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday. Gallinari will be out for up to three weeks with a knee injury.

With Gallinari on the floor this season, the Knicks have shot 48 percent from the field. When he’s been on the bench, they’re shooting just 43.1 percent. The Spurs defense figures to be a tough challenge. San Antonio has held its last four opponents to 37 percent shooting from the field.