When asked about the Clippers two technicals in the 4th quarter, he responded, “it’s not good, we have to keep our composure. They know it, we talked about it. They know you can’t do that in the fourth quarter. You can’t let technicals beat you. We lost by one point, they got two points at the line. So it doesn’t make a lot of sense It’s not a smart play.” Del Negro said, “They’re a good team. Kevin Love’s a handful. They’ve got depth. The offensive rebounds hurt us in the fourth quarter, we missed a lot of free throws and that was the difference.” Del Negro did say that he appreciated the way his team battled at the end. ”Our guys battled, I’m proud of the way of guys grinded it out, we had an opportunity and we put pressure on them, but we couldn’t convert when we needed to.”
Kevin Love certainly got the better of Blake Griffin for the 3rd straight game, scoring 39 points and 17 rebounds; he also added in several key buckets down the stretch. Love also knew beforehand who physical the game would be.
“It was a physical game, kinda what we expected,” Love said. “We beat them twice on their home court and they wanted to come out and get a win against us. So we knew what type of game it was going to be and as the game went on it got more and more physical.”
The Clippers got out-muscled in this one, and in the end when Blake Griffin lost control and pulled Luke Ridnour from behind and gave the Timberwolves another free-throw. Blake was disappointed in the costly play: “”It’s difficult when, one particular thing comes down to whether we won or lost the game. It very well could have been. I got to get better at Controlling my emotions.”
Griffin’s lack of control combined with Chris Paul missing a potentially game-tying free throw ended up with another loss for the Clippers in what is looking to be a brutal March for them.