Kevin Love, JJ Barea physically separated during T-Wolves' 3rd straight loss [VIDEO]

During the fourth quarter of last night's loss to the Kings, Martell Webster had to separate JJ Barea (left, back to camera) from Kevin Love.
During the fourth quarter of last night's loss to the Kings, Martell Webster had to separate JJ Barea (left, back to camera) from Kevin Love.

Things have taken a turn toward the ugly for the 2012 Minnesota Timberwolves.

Just a week after being in pole position for a playoff birth, the Wolves have now dropped three straight games and sit two games back of eighth-place Houston. Overall, the team has played terrible defense while dropping four of five games since Ricky Rubio's knee injury.

And while the Wolves have mostly lived up to their United We Run slogan this season, cracks in the armor are beginning to emerge. Most notably, during last night's 115-99 loss to the usually-terrible Sacramento Kings, All-Star Kevin Love and reserve guard JJ Barea had to be physically separated by teammates during a fourth-quarter timeout.

Here's video:

The Star Tribune reports

that both Love and Barea downplayed the incident after the game:

"Part of the game, competitors trying to win," Barea said. "We're frustrated that we're losing, but it happens, every basketball team. We just got into it. It's all right. He said something I didn't like, I said it back and we're all good. Nothing against him."

"It's nothing personal with J.J.," Love said. "I think we're both frustrated and we took it out on each other when we should have taken it out on the other team. That was both of our mistake, both of our bad."

K-Love is not above resorting to violence.
K-Love is not above resorting to violence.

Wolves blog Feelings Without Numbers offers a detailed video analysis of Love's visibly mounting frustration during a string of plays preceding the confrontation. The long and short of it? Barea, as he is wont to do, alternated between missing forced, low-quality shots and freezing Love out of the offense by passing to less talented players like Wayne Ellington during a crucial stretch of fourth-quarter possessions, causing Love to say something to him on the floor... and the bitterness then bubbled over on the bench.

We're sure being married to Ms. Universe has elevated Barea's confidence to levels most of us could never imagine, but come on, JJ, let's be real -- K-Love, with eight additional inches of height and almost 100 pounds more in weight, could handle you with one arm tied behind his back, and isn't afraid to do it... after all, he's the same guy who stomped a mudhole in Luis Scola's face earlier this season.

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