Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 11/28/12
Love84034369
The Los Angeles Clippers are blaming their defense for their current struggles, and those complaints likely will continue if they can't slow down Kevin Love. Los Angeles looks to avoid a fifth consecutive loss Wednesday night when it hosts the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have won three straight meetings with Love in the lineup. The Clippers (8-6) gave up an average of 86.2 points during a six-game winning streak from Nov. 7-19, but they've allowed an average of 103.0 during their current four-game skid. They fell 105-98 on Monday to a New Orleans team that ranks near the bottom of the Western Conference offensively. "Our defense was terrible. It's almost embarrassing," said Chris Paul, who finished with 20 points, eight assists and four steals. "Teams feel like they can come down and score on us every night. Guys can't look in our eyes and feel like they can get by us. We have to take more pride in our play." Understandably, defense was the main focus of coach Vinny Del Negro's practice Tuesday. "Our defense has to create our offense, which it was doing earlier in the season and we've got to do a better job with that - locking in defensively, having a more physical presence in the paint and on the perimeter," Del Negro told the team's official website. "If we do that, it will make the game easier. We'll get out in the open court and make the game smoother for us." The defeat overshadowed a strong offensive effort as the Clippers hit a franchise-record 18 3-pointers. Caron Butler set an individual franchise mark by hitting nine while scoring a game-high 33 points - his most since netting 39 while playing for Washington against Boston on April 15, 2009. Blake Griffin, though, shouldered the blame after one of his worst performances, shooting 1 for 9 and scoring a career-low four points before fouling out late. "I just missed shots. It's on me," Griffin said. "It's not because of our offense. It's not anybody else's fault. It's my fault. I had open shots, I had post-ups - I mean, I shot the ball nine times. I just missed them." Griffin is averaging 25.3 points and 10.6 rebounds in eight career games against Minnesota, scoring 19 points and adding 13 boards in a 95-82 victory in the last meeting April 12. The Timberwolves, though, played without an injured Love, who also missed the first nine games of this season. He's averaging 24.0 points and 16.5 rebounds in four games since making his season debut Nov. 21. Love scored 23 points and finished with 24 rebounds Tuesday at Sacramento, helping lead Minnesota (6-7) to a 97-89 victory that ended a five-game losing streak. "I knew he got a lot of rebounds, but I didn't know how many," coach Rick Adelman said. "It was one of the most complete games I've seen him play. He wasn't forcing anything. He passed the ball. He set screens. He did whatever we needed." The Wolves have beaten the Clippers the last three times they've had Love, who totaled 39 points and 17 rebounds in a 95-94 win the last time he faced them March 5. That streak began Jan. 20, when Love hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Minnesota a 101-98 victory at Staples Center.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

11-year-old writes letters to NBA teams to tout Monmouth player

Doug Marrone affirms that Blake Bortles is Jaguars’ quarterback

Dan Quinn says he's never got over the Falcons' Super Bowl LI collapse

Trevor Siemian shoulder injury more severe than originally thought

Former Cub David Ross to appear on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Julio Jones to be evaluated, may need surgery on injured foot

Report: Cowboys OT Doug Free considering retirement

Browns WR Josh Gordon applying for reinstatement

Report: Nerve damage in Jaylon Smith’s leg not improving

James Harden reveals why he stopped dating Khloe Kardashian

Report: Manziel attracting 'real interest' at NFL Combine

Box Score 3/1: It's all about Durant and his knee

The 'Simone Biles vs. Mr. T dance-off you didn't know you wanted until now' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Daryl Morey burns up the phone lines

The top 10 MLB left fielders headed into spring training 2017

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in Major League Baseball

The best sports movies available to stream right now

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Box Score 2/28: Fat Tuesday means athletes on floats.

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Daryl Morey burns up the phone lines

The 'Simone Biles vs. Mr. T dance-off you didn't know you wanted until now' quiz

The top 10 MLB left fielders headed into spring training 2017

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 20 or more games in the 1980s

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in MLB

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 20 or more games in a season since 2000

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker