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Love's buzzer beater lifts Timberwolves over Clippers

Jan 21, 2012 - 7:21 AM Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kevin Love knocked down a three-pointer as time expired, sending the Timberwolves to a 101-98 comeback victory over the Clippers on Friday night.

Minnesota, which has won three straight and four of five, trailed 98-94 with under a minute remaining, but Ricky Rubio scored the next four points, hitting a free throw before knocking down a game-tying three with 20 seconds left.

After Chauncey Billups missed a layup, which was contested by Rubio, Love grabbed the rebound and, out of a timeout, received an inbounds pass at the top of the key and drained the open trey as the buzzer sounded.

Love finished with 17 points and 14 boards while Darko Milicic had 22 points and seven rebounds.

"It was a [well] executed play," said Love. "I got a good look and I hit it. It was our defense that gave us a chance to win."

The Clippers, who were without All-Star Chris Paul for the fourth consecutive game, have dropped two of their last three. Mo Williams scored a game-high 25 points before being ejected in the fourth quarter.

"We didn't lose the game on that play," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said of Love's shot. "We turned the ball over too much and we didn't execute when we needed to. It's a little frustrating right now."

Los Angeles, which saw its seven-game home win streak come to an end, was coming off of Wednesday's dramatic 91-89 win over the Mavericks, in which Billups drain the game-winning three-pointer with one second left.

Williams was also key against the Mavs, scoring 26 points on 11-of-15 shooting. Against the Timberwolves, the reserve guard scored 21 first-half points, missing just two shots over that span, as the Clippers led by as many as 15 and took a 59-48 lead into the break.

The Timberwolves methodically worked their way back into the game. They cut the deficit to four on a Wesley Johnson foul shot midway through the third and trailed 79-72 at the end of the quarter.

Williams opened the fourth with a jumper, but Timberwolves rookie Derrick Williams scored five straight to make it 81-77. The Clippers, though, quickly pushed the lead back to double-digits, going up 89-77 on Randy Foye's driving layup with 9 1/2 minutes remaining.

The advantage was 96-90 on a Billups trey before Milicic scored four straight, finishing in close off a pair of deft feeds from Rubio. Billups made it 98-94 with a pair from the line and Blake Griffin had a chance to add to the advantage with a minute remaining, but missed two from the charity stripe.

Rubio then drove, drew the foul and knocked down 1-of-2 to make it 98-95 with 51 seconds left. Clippers forward Ryan Gomes missed a jumper on the other end and Rubio, who had missed his first 10 shots from the field, knocked down a corner trey to tie the game.

After a timeout, Billups drove hard to the lane, but Rubio stayed in front as the shot bounced off the rim and into the waiting arms of Love. After a timeout, Love found himself open courtesy of a Rubio screen and calmly knocked down the winning shot.

Game Notes

Love recorded his 15th straight double-double to open the season, extending an NBA record which he set in Wednesday's win over the Pistons...Paul remains out with a strained left hamstring...Williams was ejected after receiving his second technical foul for arguing a call late in the game...Griffin finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds.