Love leads Timberwolves over RocketsFeb 18, 2012 - 4:50 AM Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Kevin Love had 33 points and 17 rebounds and Nikola Pekovic scored a career-high 30, as the Timberwolves downed the Rockets, 111-98, on Friday.
Ricky Rubio added 18 points and nine assists for the Timberwolves, who have rebounded from a four-game slide with two straight wins.
"It was not easy," Pekovic said of his play. "It maybe looked easy, but it was very difficult. I am trying to play hard and even if I start missing you can not let it affect you. You can't do everything perfect, but if you play hard you know something good will come."
Chandler Parsons had 18 points for the Rockets. They were coming off of Wednesday's 96-95 win over the Thunder and have lost three of four overall. Kyle Lowry and Courtney Lee both added 17.
Minnesota led 91-77 after three but the Rockets opened the fourth on a 17-4 run to pull within a point. Parsons started the quarter with a layup, hit a three-pointer several possessions later and drove the paint and scored inside to make it 95-94 with just under six minutes left.
From there, Love took over. He scored eight straight points, hitting back-to- back treys and scoring on a fadeaway putback to make it 103-94. Rubio then hit a 19-footer and Pekovic followed with layup to put the Rockets away.
Earlier, Kevin Martin scored 10 first-quarter points, but Minnesota countered with a balanced attack, as every player got on the board, paced by Pekovic's seven, for a 30-29 advantage.
It was 47-47 late in the second when the Timberwolves reeled off a 12-2 run. Love had four points during the burst and Pekovic had a three-point play. He finished with 19 first-half points and Minnesota led 61-54 at the break.
It was back to double-digits, 69-59, early in the third on a Pekovic layup and reached 17 in the closing minutes behind a 7-0 run. Luke Ridnour capped the short spurt with a floater to make it 89-72.
"Look, they just beat us up," said Rockets coach Kevin McHale. "The bottom line is Pekovic had nine offensive rebounds. Rubio dribbled around, made shots, made passes. Ridnour got loose early. They just beat it up. Bottom line. They rolled hard, got in the paint and we didn't have any answers for them."
The Timberwolves took three of four from the Rockets this season to win the season series for the first time since 2004-05...Pekovic's previous career high was 27 points against the Nets in early February...Martin had 16 points.
- MINNESOTA: 111
Feb 17 10:12 PM
- MINNESOTA: 91
End of 3rd
Feb 17 9:45 PM
- MINNESOTA: 61
Feb 17 9:03 PM
- MINNESOTA: 30
End of 1st
Feb 17 8:34 PM
- MINNESOTA: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Feb 17 8:11 PM
- Timberwolves will not retain Newton, Kander May 20
- Towns, Porzingis unanimously selected to All-Rookie 1st team May 19
- NBA China to open basketball-themed Playzone in Shanghai May 17
- After lots of losing, 76ers hope to win big in NBA lottery May 17
- Timberwolves' Towns is unanimous Rookie of the Year pick May 16
- T-wolves will send Towns with Flip's ring for lottery luck May 16
- Weekend Sports in Brief May 16
- AP Source: Karl-Anthony Towns is NBA Rookie of the Year May 15
- Zach LaVine wins NBA Cares Community Assist award for April May 9
- Rockets must find coach in wake of first-round ouster Apr 29
- Warriors reach second round with MVP Stephen Curry sidelined Apr 28
- Warriors roll into second round of playoffs without Curry Apr 28