The following players have scored 43 points or more, grabbed 17 rebounds or more, and lost the game.
Hakeem Olajuwon (x2) (52,18; 46, 19)
Chris Webber (51, 26)
Patrick Ewing (51, 18)
Kevin Garnett (47, 17)
Shaquille O’Neal (46, 21)
Charles Barkley (44, 17)
Zach Randolph (43, 17)
David Robinson (43, 17)
And now, Kevin Love (43, 17).
Love recorded 43 points on 14-23 shooting (5-5 from the arc) and grabbed 17 rebounds in the Wolves’ 115-113 loss to the Nuggets Saturday night. It is quite simply one of the saddest things you can imagine. For a player to be putting in the effort every night that Love is, on such a terrible team, is really disappointing. A lot of people will point out that Love gets many rebounds off his own miss, and that he swallows up easy rebounds. But those still count, and they still help your team win. Or they should. But they don’t for Kevin Love, because he plays for the Timberwolves.
What’s worse? If you notice that list, the only team to have two players score 43 points or more, grab 17 rebounds or more, and lose is the Minnesota Timberwolves. The franchise has been gifted with two players capable of putting in 43 and 17 and both have done so in losses. That’s either a stunning case of bad luck or a stunning case of franchise ineptitude.
Another element here should be pace. Both Denver and Minnesota play at a super high pace, which is going to boost numbers (part of the reason New York keeps giving up superhuman performances). As an example, Kevin Garnett played on the 22nd fastest team in the league, while Zach Randolph played on the second slowest team (29th in pace) in Portland when he dropped 43 and 17.
But as someone said on Twitter, there just should be no way that you score 43 points, add 17 rebounds, and lose. It just shouldn’t happen. Given the elite company on that list, it also brings high hopes for Kevin Love’s career. Question will be if he has to get out of Minnesota to do it.