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Kevin Love returns with game-tying 3 at the end of regulation, big stats in overtime win

Eric Freeman
Ball Don't Lie

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Kevin Love can't believe it (Hannah Foslien/ Getty Images).

The 2012-13 season was a severely disappointing one for the Minnesota Timberwolves, who entered the year with hopes of a playoff berth but ended up struggling due to many injuries and a (somewhat related) lack of outside shooting. The biggest loss, by far, was that of All-Star power forward Kevin Love, who missed 64 games and didn't play after January 3 due to a fractured hand. There have been few doubts that Love would be unable to perform at a high level in 2013-14, but it was still unclear how Love would play in his return to action.

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The results, safe to say, were positive. In 41 minutes of play against the Orlando Magic, Love finished with 31 points (8-of-19 FG, 12-of-16 FT), 17 boards, and four assists to lead the Wolves' attack. His biggest moment came in the final seconds of regulation, when Ricky Rubio found him on an inbounds pass to tie the game at 103-103.

Minnesota went on to handle Orlando in overtime for the 120-115 win.

Although this was just one game, it certainly looks as if Love is playing to his established level. For most players — even some of the best power forwards in the league — 30 and 17 would be a season-best mark. Yet Love had accomplished it 13 times in his career prior to Wednesday night. We should expect him to reach it again, sooner rather than later. It's good to have him back on the court.

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Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at efreeman_ysports@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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