(Reuters) - Cleveland forward Kevin Love scored a first-quarter record 34 points on Wednesday, helping the Cavaliers to a 137-125 win over Portland.
Love caught fire from the tip-off by making eight three-pointers in the opening quarter alone and outscoring the entire Timberwolves team 34-31 heading into the second.
His tally fell three points shy of the NBA mark for most points in any quarter. Golden State’s Klay Thompson hit 37 in the third quarter of a game against Sacramento in January 2015.
Love finished with 40 points, the most he has scored since joining the Cavaliers prior to the 2014-15 season.
A three-time All Star, Love is often overshadowed by LeBron James and Kyrie Irving at the Cavs.
He was sidelined for the bulk of the team’s playoff run to the NBA Finals in 2015 and the object of criticism during their title campaign last year.
However, he has increasingly become a focal point of the Cleveland offense in the ongoing season and entered the game averaging more than 20 points.
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford