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Game 24 Recap: Rockets Stomped by Timberwolves, 100-91

Sorry for the late recap; between Saturday night and Sunday morning obligations, it was hard to find time to both watch the game and recap it.

The Rockets fell to the Timberwolves last night in Minnesota, making runs in the 3rd and 4th quarter to cut Minnesota's lead, but never making it all the way back. Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio put in their typical 25 and 18 and 13 and 11, respectively, and the Rockets simply couldn't match that production.

Kevin Martin had one of those nights that made you wonder why he's probably the Rockets' leading candidate to play in the All-Star game, and that may have been the difference. If Martin had been a bit more aggressive and hit a few more shots, perhaps the Rockets could've found a way to finish this game off and beat the pesky Timberwolves.

Read on for the good, the bad, and the ugly:

The Good

  • Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola turned in a pair of tremendous offensive performances, with Lowry going for 24 and 11 and Scola 24 and 8. They both seemed fired up after the Kevin Love stomping incident, but they managed to channel that anger onto the game.
  • Patrick Patterson seems to be hitting his stride again, and he played his 4th solid game in a row, scoring a season high of 14 points.

The Bad

  • Kevin Martin. The team's leading scorer was absolutely frigid the entire game, and lacked confidence in the second half. As nice as the five assists are, a 1-10 night is awful, especially for a premier scorer like Martin.
  • Samuel Dalembert disappointed despite getting extra rest on Friday night. He was ineffective the entire night, being pulled after just 20 minutes of playing time, and finishing with four points and a rebound. As well as he's played this season, this mini-slump that he's in right now has to be worrying.

The Ugly

You know this part was coming. I lost a great deal of respect for Kevin Love last night. There's no excuse for what he did, and his quotes after the game did little to defend himself.

Here's what Love had to say:

He was kind of right there. I just have size-19 feet. I had nowhere to go. It just happened to be his face, just like in Houston it happened to be my groin.

He would later say that it was just a "heat of the moment play."

If he didn't mean to hit Scola's face, why even mention the incident where Scola threw the ball off his groin? Why would he defend himself by claiming that it was just in the heat of the moment? To me, Love's claims have no validity. If you watch the replay, you see Love look down as he plants his foot and scrapes it across Scola's face. There's no excuse for that.

Here's the clip if you haven't seen it yet:

Kevin Love steps on Luis Scola's face (via RocketsRed)

Let's hope the Rockets can get past this tough loss and focus on the next few games, because the stretch in front of them looks pretty brutal. They have a date in Denver with the deep and intimidating Nuggets on Monday night.