Love lost: Banned 2 games

Posted: February 07, 2012

KEVIN LOVE'S frustration with physical play and officiating have been apparent early and often this season.

Emotion got the best of him on Saturday against the Houston Rockets, and now he and the Minnesota Timberwolves have to pay the price: Love, his team's leading scorer and rebounder, was suspended for two games by the NBA for "driving his foot into the upper body and face of the Rockets' Luis Scola as Scola was lying on the floor."

The play happened in the third quarter of the victory over the Rockets after the two tangled while going for a rebound. As Love went to step over Scola, who a week earlier had thrown a ball off Love's groin while trying to save it from going out of bounds, he looked down at the Rockets forward and stepped on him as he headed back up the court.

It marked the second time last week Love delivered a hard foul after not getting a call on the other end. He raked Pacers forward Danny Granger across the chest on Wednesday, touching off a small skirmish in a loss to Indiana.

Love apologized to Scola both after the game and in a statement issued by the team yesterday following the suspension, and said he has to do a better job handling his emotions.

"I don't want to be known for that," Love said after practice. "I want to be known as a stand-up guy who happened to make a mistake with a size-19 shoe and just move on. So everybody knows there were no ill intentions there."

He will miss tonight's game against Sacramento and tomorrow's game at Memphis as the Timberwolves (12-12) look to climb above .500 for the first time this season.

Love is averaging 25.0 points and 13.7 rebounds per game and leads the NBA with 39.4 minutes per game. The All-Star forward was contrite on Monday, saying he thought the suspension from NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson "was warranted."

In games last night * 

At Atlanta, Steve Nash scored 24 points and the Phoenix Suns broke open a close game with a 24-6 run to close the third quarter and beat the Hawks, 99-90.

* At Orlando, Chris Paul scored 29 points, including 11 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, and the Los Angeles Clippers slipped by the Magic, 107-102. Chauncey Billups (18 points) left in the fourth quarter with an Achilles' injury. Orlando's Jameer Nelson returned after missing five games with concussion symptoms and had 15 points and 12 assists.

* At New York, Jeremy Lin scored a career-high 28 points in his first career start and the New York Knicks overcame the absence of Amare Stoudemire and early loss of Carmelo Anthony to beat the Utah Jazz, 99-88.

Stoudemire left the team to join his family in Florida after older brother Hazell was killed there earlier yesterday in a car crash, then Anthony left after just 6 minutes with a strained right groin.

* At Newark, N.J., Carlos Boozer scored 24 points and the Chicago Bulls beat the New Jersey Nets, 109-87. C.J. Watson had 14 points and 10 assists in place of Derrick Rose, who played less than 11 minutes in the first half and sat out the second half with back spasms.

* At Washington, John Wall scored 31 points and Nick Young had 29 for the Wizards, who blew an 18-point third-quarter lead then hung on to beat the Toronto Raptors, 111-108, in overtime.

* At New Orleans, DeMarcus Cousins had 28 points and 19 rebounds, Tyreke Evans scored 20 and the Sacramento Kings erased an 18-point deficit en route to a 100-92 victory that dropped the Hornets to 4-21.

* At Memphis, Tony Parker scored 21 points, and Tim Duncan added 19 points and 17 rebounds to lead the San Antonio Spurs to an 89-84 victory over the Grizzlies.

* At Denver, Luis Scola scored 25 points and Kyle Lowry made five of six three-point shots en route to 20 to lift the Houston Rockets to a 99-90 win over the Nuggets. Denver lost budding star forward Danilo Gallinari, who rolled his left ankle in the third quarter. X-rays revealed a chip fracture of the foot.

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