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Love's 36 and 13 lift Wolves over Cavs, 91-73

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Love's 36 and 13 lift Wolves over Cavs, 91-73

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Kevin Love had 36 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 91-73 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.

Luke Ridnour had 12 points, seven assists and five rebounds for the Timberwolves, and Andrei Kirilenko had eight points, seven rebounds and six assists after missing the previous four games with back spasms.

Alonzo Gee scored 16 points and Anderson Varejao grabbed 14 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who have lost four in a row and eight of their last nine while star guard Kyrie Irving has been out with a broken left index finger.

The two teams combined for 41 turnovers and shot 25 percent from 3-point range in an ugly offensive game.

Love missed most of the first month of the season with a broken right hand, and he's been struggling to regain his shooting touch since returning nine games ago.

``I know I haven't been the 25 (points) and 10 (rebounds) guy that I usually am. ... I haven't been quite putting up the numbers and helping the team as much as I can,'' Love said at the shootaround on Friday morning.

He looked a little more like the All-Star and Olympic gold medalist the Wolves have come to expect against the woeful Cavs, hitting 10 of his 19 shots. He entered the game shooting just 19.6 percent from 3-point range, but made two of his five attempts and also went 14 for 18 at the free throw line.

While Love was terrific in the matchup of two of the game's best rebounders, Varejao managed just four points on 2-for-10 shooting and lost a streak of 10 straight games with at least 15 boards.

C.J. Miles scored 13 points for Cleveland.

Both teams were missing their playmaking point guards, and it showed in the disjointed mess that was the offense on both sides of the court. Irving missed his 10th straight game and Dion Waiters was out again with a sprained left ankle, robbing the Cavaliers of one of the promising young backcourts in the league.

Once again, the Cavs struggled to create space for easy jumpers, turned the ball over 18 times and really were relegated to hoping for a dunk from Gee on offense. Gee threw down a soaring jam and then knifed through the lane for another two-hander that cut Minnesota's lead to nine points late in the third quarter. He made seven of his 12 shots, but his teammates went 23 for 75 from the field.

The Timberwolves were similarly sluggish as they wait for Ricky Rubio to play for the first time this season. Luke Ridnour had a couple of nifty Ricky-like behind-the-back passes for easy shots in the first quarter, but it dried up after that. They were shooting under 40 percent until late in the third quarter and missed 12 of their first 14 3-pointers.

NOTES: Varejao did limit Wolves C Nikola Pekovic to four points and one rebound on 0-for-3 shooting. ... Cavaliers rookie Kevin Jones made his NBA debut. He had two points and four rebounds in eight minutes. ... Former No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams did not play again for the Wolves, with coach Rick Adelman preferring to give the bulk of the minutes to Love, Dante Cunningham and Greg Stiemsma up front.

10.19.18 Rick Horrow sits down with Zach Leonsis of Monumental Sports

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USA TODAY Sports

10.19.18 Rick Horrow sits down with Zach Leonsis of Monumental Sports

By Rick Horrow

Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins

LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST HERE

Top 3 sports biz items of the week:

1) The NHL’s new season has been infused with a bit of flare and fun that it is not used to. According to The Hockey News, players across the league have started to show a bit more personality on the ice, something that fans have been “begging for” for years. The highlight of the first week came during a wild 7-6 win for the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Chicago Blackhawks. Maple Leafs C Auston Matthews and Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane exchanged jeers after each scored a goal within the final minutes of regulation. Meanwhile in Raleigh, the Hurricanes now have one of the league’s best post-game celebrations. After a win, the whole team applauds the crowd before “skating from their own blueline to the other end of the ice and jumping into the boards.” This playful nature is one thing that the NHL has lacked compared to its NBA and NFL counterparts. With more fun, expect more fans. And to the fun mix add Gritty, the startling new Muppet-like orange Philadelphia Flyers mascot, who calls his fans “Gritizens,” has been on with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, and after mere weeks has amassed over 136,000 Twitter followers.


2) E-commerce giant Amazon is used to disrupting industries in a quick and swift fashion, but its dive into sports broadcasting has been described as “humble.” According to SportsBusiness Journal, Amazon has been linked with some of the world’s biggest leagues and tournaments, such as the NFL and Premier League, despite not being a longtime player in the sports broadcasting industry. “There is more to come from Amazon, full stop. We are in it for the long-term, that’s for sure,” said Amazon Prime Video European Managing Director Alex Green. “We just get our heads down and try and do the best possible job. We are quite humble about it. Amazon may be a big name but in sports broadcasting we are not. Let’s face it.” Amazon recently celebrated its first exclusive sporting event broadcast when it streamed the U.S. Open to tennis fans in the U.K. as part of a $40 million, five-year deal. While that effort did not go smoothly, with thousands of fans unable to access the livestream, Amazon has assured its current and would-be broadcast partners that their humbling performance would only improve.


3) NFL owners are preparing for a big vote at their fall meeting this week regarding cross-ownership. According to SportsBusiness Journal, the decades-old rule currently prevents “owners of other big four sports teams in NFL markets from buying a football team,” while also preventing NFL owners from buying non-NFL Big Four sports teams in an existing NFL market. The ballooning of franchise valuations has led owners to reconsider the rule due to the shrinking pool of potential buyers for clubs. To illustrate this, when the Carolina Panthers came up for sale earlier this year, only three bidders emerged before David Tepper bought the team for $2.275 billion. Even that NFL record setting sale came in under expectations. However, the league has not strictly upheld the cross-ownership rule. Back in 2010, Stan Kroenke exercised an option to buy the then-St. Louis Rams despite owning the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and NHL’s Colorado Avalanche. Kroenke skirted around the rule after he handed off the Colorado teams to other family members, setting precedent and setting up the NFL for a sensible rule change.

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Redskins-Cowboys Week 7 preview: A storyline, a stat and a player to watch

Redskins-Cowboys Week 7 preview: A storyline, a stat and a player to watch

This Sunday, for the 117th time, the Redskins and Cowboys will meet. 

Dallas will bring its 3-3 record into FedEx Field and face off with a 3-2 Washington squad. The winner of the contest will guarantee themselves a share of the NFC East lead heading into Week 8.

Here's a storyline, stat and player to watch for the next installment of this rivalry. Once you're done reading those, you can officially start preparing yourself for some sketchy fourth down decisions by Jason Garrett. 

Biggest storyline

Since his tidy but effective game vs. the Packers, Alex Smith turned in a disconcerting performance in New Orleans and a lukewarm effort (albeit a winning one) against the Panthers. Overall, Smith has looked very in control at times but also uneasy and ineffective at others so far in 2018.

So, the biggest storyline in this edition of the series has to do with Smith. If this game calls for it, can he lead the 'Skins to a victory?

That could be difficult vs. the Cowboys. The QB will be without Jamison Crowder again, and on Friday, Jay Gruden listed Paul Richardson as doubtful. Chris Thompson, meanwhile, is questionable.

So, it's likely Smith will be without two of his most talented weapons and possible that he'll be missing three. And on top of that, he'll be operating behind an offensive line that's had issues, which is contributing to his sometimes shaky feet in the pocket.  

To make things even harder, the Dallas defense allows the second-fewest points-per-game in the league and boasts a defensive line that Gruden is very worried about because it employs a scheme that involves a lot of movement. The Colts D-line uses a lot of stunts and movement, too, and they held the 'Skins to just 9 points in Week 2.

Smith has yet to top 300 yards this season or throw for more than two touchdowns in a single outing. He's had no problem winning when the team jumps to an early lead and the running game is going, sure, but he can't count on that each time he starts. 

At some point, his right arm is going to have to be mainly responsible for a Redskins W. And there'd be no better time for that to happen than in his first shot against his new franchise's most-hated opponent.

One key stat

Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott don't know what it's like to play an NFL game vs. Washington and leave that game as the loser. Prescott is 4-0 in his four starts, while Elliott suited up in three of those triumphs. 

Elliott has been a big-time problem for the Redskins in their run-ins. The RB has scored five times against the burgundy and gold and averages 110 yards per appearance. 

Come Sunday around 7:30 or 8 p.m., when Elliott's day is done, odds are you'll be able to look at his stat line and judge the outcome of the game solely based on it.

If Greg Manusky and his defense, particularly his young stars up front, are able to bottle up Zeke, you have to like the Redskins' chances of beating the Cowboys for the first time since the 2015 season finale.

The Redskin to watch

Charley Casserly identified Fabian Moreau as a key Redskin for Week 7 (full video above). Another one worth watching is DJ Swearinger.

Swearinger terrorized Cam Newton last week and really flew around the entire field. He'll need to be as active against the Cowboys and, most importantly, be a sure tackler.

Elliott is going to churn out a few seven- and eight-yard runs. It'll be on Swearinger, plus fellow safety Montae Nicholson, to not let those become 20- or 30-yard gains. 

A lof of the attention, and deservedly so, will go toward what Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Matt Ioannidis are doing on Sunday. But if Swearinger can take smart angles, get Elliott to the ground and make a few plays in pass coverage, that'll go a long way vs. a limited Dallas offense.

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