Yes, Darry loves Ponyboy.
Darry has pressures placed upon him as the acting head of household since the death of both their parents. Darry gave up a football scholarship to stay home and keep the family together.
He must make sure that the house meets the inspection of the child welfare agency who comes by to check up on the boys. It is up to Darry to make sure that there is food in the house, that homework gets done, and that the place is clean and tidy.
We tend to forget that Darry lost his parents too. He stuffed his grief and pain down deep in order to get on with the business of keeping the family together. When he almost loses Ponyboy, all of that pain and grief welled up and came out in the form of tears.