The debate before Friday night's game at Target Center was whether Kevin Garnett in his prime or Kevin Love as a 23-year-old stats monster was the best player in Timberwolves history.

Garnett still has enough pals to be aware that this conversation was taking place in the Twin Cities dailies and on sports talk radio.

Anyone raising this issue did no favors to Love. Tom Hanneman, the Wolves' TV play-by-play announcer, said he was told by his Boston peers that they had not seen Garnett so fired up before a game in a couple of years.

That's not a surprise to anyone who watched Garnett in his 12 seasons in Minnesota. If we learned anything, it was that any hint of disrespect turned KG from merely a fierce competitor to an uncaged lion.

And during the 34 minutes of hell that Garnett brought to the Target Center court, he changed the parameters of the debate to this: Who is the best power forward in the NBA today -- Love at 23, with all those numbers, or Garnett at 35, who remains aware that a big effort on defense can be as decisive as saving your energy to play offense?

Love finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Garnett finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds. So, if you have a rose-colored view of Love, you could declare the matchup to have been a draw.

There would be one more requirement to take such a stance: that you didn't watch the game.

The score was 100-79 for Boston, the largest margin of defeat in the Wolves' 28 losses this season. Garnett went 12-for-18 from the field, compared to Love's 5-for-18.

Garnett went face up on Love from the start, turned him over to Brandon Bass or Greg Stiemsma on occasion, but always came back to Love when necessary to grab and push for defensive position. Any Wolves fan complaining about that has not watched Love grab and push all season to get into offensive position.