Kevin Love had 25 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Timberwolves to a 100-91 win over the Rockets tonight, but ultimately his night might be better remembered for the incident below than his typically robust stat line. Love and Rockets forward Luis Scola have had some in-game…incidents lately, but what happened during the third quarter of tonight’s game took things to another level, and not in a good way:
Some thought it looked like Love stepped on Scola’s face on purpose. Others weren’t ready to say. For the record, Love himself apparently denied any malicious intent, and reportedly apologized to Scola after the game. And it’s true that Love looked down before stepping on Scola (so he must have known that Scola was blocking his path down there).
But that still doesn’t quite equal “he meant to step on a guy’s face.” It didn’t look like Love went out of his way to do anything, and the step onto Scola
wasn’t particularly forceful (UPDATE: actually, after more repeated viewings, it was pretty forceful, but still less so than, say, Ndamukong Suh’s stomp). There’s a chance it was a wrong-place, wrong-time situation.
Yes, there’s a chance of that…but it’s certain that Love stepped on Scola’s face. He did it directly after a chippy play between the two. It was not the first such chippy play the two have shared lately. And at the least, Love didn’t do much to avoid stepping on Scola. Whether or not the intentions were as bad as the result, it didn’t look too good, and we wouldn’t be shocked if the end result is what the announcers predicted, and Love has to miss some game action because of this.