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Kevin Love was laughing when he walked into the locker room following this unpretty win. He was laughing because he knew that, in past years, games like this–shots not falling, players injured and ailing–would have ended another uninspired, disheartening loss. Neither team was particularly elegant; neither team shot the ball well; the game was arrhythmic and undistinguished. Love himself, ghostly and wan after two wretched days of stomach distress, was struggling mightily just to run the length of the court. And yet, the Wolves, through a combination of spirited defense and timely playmaking, managed to eke it out. Love reflected for a moment on the passion and resolve shown by his new teammates: “I love this team,” he said. That’s great news.

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