"More often than not, I believe I'm going to make that shot," Love said.
"We'll take that shot every time. The best power forward in the league with a great look to win the game. We just dug too big of a hole early to pull it out at the end," said Minnesota guard Kevin Martin.
Minnesota's (3-1) All-Star forward indeed had an open look, despite a ball handling miscue from J.J. Barea that forced the outside shot with the clock ticking.
Love notched his fourth double-double of the season with 17 points and 13 rebounds, but he missed all seven three-point attempts, including the final shot of the game. Martin led the Wolves in scoring with 23 points and was the only player to find the basket on three-pointers, making five of eight.
Five Cleveland (2-2) players broke double-digits. Leading the group was CJ Miles, who hit 8 of 13 shots for 19 points in only 18:34 of floor time. Kyrie Irving added 15 points.
Suggestions of fatigue poured in as the Wolves struggled on the second night of a back-to-back. Starting point guard Ricky Rubio was off-target, and was replaced by Barea for the entire fourth quarter. Their frenetic offensive tempo was hindered by poor shooting, finishing with a field goal percentage of 36.2. Failing to break the 30-point level in the first quarter, Minnesota trailed 72-49 with 5:11 left in the third.
Some pleasure could be found in their subsequent response. After a Miles triple to give the Cavaliers a 91-76 lead with 5:08 left in the fourth, the Wolves gave up just two points for the rest of the period. Had Cleveland's defense not come up with 12 blocks for the game, the narrative would have likely changed.
"When I look back at our games from last year, (this) would have been a loss for us. Maybe by double-digits," Irving said.
Minnesota's mood was optimistic following the loss, taking encouragement from a strong defensive stance to close out back-to-back games. The Wolves also put up a 30-8 edge in fast break points.
The Wolves were seeking a new franchise record for the longest undefeated start to the season. They return home Wednesday for a meeting with Golden State.