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Love's inside presence leads T'Wolves past Pistons

Dec 11, 2010 - 4:17 AM Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Kevin Love continued to dominate the boards on Friday night, pulling down 18 rebounds to go with 27 points, as the Minnesota Timberwolves held off the Detroit Pistons, 109-99.

Love has recorded 15 boards or more in nine straight games, the longest such streak since Ben Wallace ran off 14 in a row for Detroit in 2003.

"I feel like we did a great job defensiveley tonight," Love said. "We stepped it up."

Luke Ridnour added 20 points and 10 assists for Minnesota, which had lost eight of nine coming in. Michael Beasley donated 12 points and seven rebounds, while Wesley Johnson and Darko Milicic each chipped in 11 points for the victors.

Richard Hamilton had 26 points to pace the Pistons, who have lost eight in a row on the road. Rodney Stuckey tallied 19 points and six assists.

"Kevin Love is the best rebounder in the league right," Pistons center Greg Monroe said. "I just tried to go out and match his intensity."

Detroit jumped out to a 17-4 lead with under 6 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter, but the Timberwolves battled back to make it a 23-19 game after 12 minutes.

Minnesota opened the second period on a 9-2 flurry to go in front. Sebastian Telfair's jumper with 10:04 remaining made it a 28-25 game. The rest of the frame was a back-and-forth battle that resulted in the Timberwolves holding a 50-47 edge at the break.

The third quarter also proved to be a close one, as Ridnour's jumper at the end of the stanza gave Minnesota a 76-70 lead.

Trailing 80-73 early in the fourth, the Pistons ripped off seven straight points to tie the game with 10 minutes to play.

Holding an 89-87 margin with under six minutes remaining, the Timberwolves put together a 7-0 spurt to create some distance. Ridnour's jumper and three- pointer were followed by Corey Brewer's slam for a 96-87 lead with four minutes left. Detroit never got closer than seven the rest of the way.

Game Notes

Detroit won both meetings with Minnesota a year ago and was unbeaten in the past three matchups between the teams. The Pistons had also won five in a row in the Twin Cities...Detroit fell to a dismal 2-12 away from The Palace this season...The Timberwolves made 51.9 percent of their shots from the floor, while the Pistons shot 38.6 percent from the field.