Blake Griffin and Kevin Love engaged in quite the duel on Sunday night at the Staples Center, and it was Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers who emerged victorious, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 120-116 in overtime thanks to a Jared Dudley three with 38 seconds left.
The Wolves actually appeared on the verge of winning in regulation after two buckets by Love on consecutive possessions put them up five with 1:29 left. But the Clippers stormed back, tying the game in the final seconds on a Jamal Crawford layup after Kevin Martin turned the ball over.
Griffin finished the game with 32 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out in the extra period. Jamal Crawford added 22 points and Darren Collison had 18 off the bench, while Chris Paul notched a double-double.
The loss spoiled an extraordinary effort from Love, who had 45 points, 19 rebounds and six assists. Nikola Pekovic was excellent himself, scoring 34 points and pulling down 14 rebounds. However, Pekovic missed a great look in the final seconds of overtime that sealed the deal for Los Angeles.
The Clippers held a slim lead throughout much of the first half and opened up a 10-point lead in the third quarter. But the Wolves didn't back down, and they seized some momentum after Matt Barnes was ejected for a hard foul on Love. The power forward knocked down both free throws and hit a three on the ensuing possession, which helped Minnesota take a two-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Wolves led by as many as seven points in the fourth quarter, but outside Love's consecutive baskets, their offensive execution was poor down the stretch.