Game 20: Cavs at Timberwolves
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio
WHAT HAPPENED: Cavs center Anderson Varejao had his double-double streak end at 10 games. He was one shy of Elmore Smith's team record set in the 1977-78 season.
Varejao finished with four points and a game-high 14 rebounds. He was just 2 of 10 from the field, 6 of 26 in his last two games.
He was matched up against Timberwolves forward Kevin Love for much of the night. Love showed why he's an All-Star and a gold medalist on the U.S. Olympic team. He ended with 36 points and 13 rebounds.
One would never know he missed the first nine games this season with a broken right hand. Of course, he got injured doing knuckle push-ups. How would you like to have been the person who had to call Minnesota coach Rick Adelman and tell him that news?
He's an absolute load. Love picked up where he left off before he was hurt. He came into the game being the T-Wolves' leading scorer (19.4) and rebounder (14.4). He recorded his 16th career 20/20 game on Nov. 27. The Cavs have 19 20/20 games in their 42-year history.
Love came into the game shooting an uncharacteristically low 36.1 percent from the field and 19.6 percent from behind the arc. Of course, he drained 10 of 19 shots on Friday, including 2 of 5 from the 3-point arc and 14 of 18 from the foul line.
Conversely, the Cavs were 6 of 9 from the free-throw line.
They have now lost four in a row. That includes 10 of their last 11 on the road.
Forward Alonzo Gee was the only Cavs' starter in double figures in scoring with 16 points. He had four rim-rattling dunks.
That can't continue. That's probably why Coach Byron Scott is close to making a change at point guard. Jeremy Pargo just hasn't been getting the job done. I think it's time to take a look at Donald Sloan in the starting lineup. He had 10 points and five rebounds against Minnesota. He has 24 points in his last two games.
The Cavs also shot 34.5 percent from the field and committed 20 turnovers, one off their season high. That led to 32 points by the T-Wolves.
Cavs shooting guard Dion Waiters (sprained left ankle) didn't make the trip. He is not expected to play on Saturday, either.
Playing without their starting backcourt (Kyrie Irving has a hairline fracture of his left index finger) has been impossible to overcome for the Cavs. They don't have enough firepower with everyone healthy, much less taking their top two scorers and playmakers out of the mix.
Irving has to be close. He was playing one-on-one with Jeremy Pargo after practice on Thursday.
The Cavs won't have Jon Leuer available for a while. He's been assigned to the D-League. He needs to go to Canton and regain his confidence. He's played a total of three minutes in the Cavs' last 11 games.
UP NEXT: The Cavs host Detroit at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena.
SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Andrei Kirilenko (6-9, 234)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs. Kevin Love (6-10, 253)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Nikola Pekovic (6-11, 281)
SG Daniel Gibson (6-2, 200) vs. Malcolm Lee (6-5, 203)
PG Jeremy Pargo (6-2, 219) vs. Luke Ridnour (6-2, 173)
Cavs – G Kyrie Irving, G Dion Waiters, F Jon Leuer
Timberwolves - F Chase Budinger, G Brandon Roy, G Ricky Rubio
Derrick Stafford, Eric Dalen, Brian Forte