Love's double-double leads Timberwolves over Nuggets 117-90
Kevin Love turned in a 32-point, 11-rebound performance to lead host Minnesota in a rout over Denver.
Corey Brewer added 22 points and snagged five steals for the Timberwolves, who snapped a four-game losing streak to close out their first half schedule. J.J. Barea scored 18 points, Chase Budinger added 12 and Ricky Rubio dished out a game-high 12 assists to go along with 11 points for Minnesota, which converted 29 points on 21 turnovers by the Nuggets.
Jordan Hamilton led Denver with 16 points and a career-high seven assists off the bench as the Nuggets played without starting point guard Ty Lawson (rib). J.J. Hickson contributed 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds for Denver, which lost its fourth consecutive game.
The Timberwolves started fast and never looked back, exploding out of the gate for a 19-3 advantage off the opening tip on the way to a 31-19 edge at the end of the first quarter. The lead was extended to 20 by halftime, as Minnesota hit the break up 61-41, led by 17 first half points from Love and 11 apiece from Barea and Brewer.
A 3-pointer from Hamilton to open the third quarter would draw Denver to within 17 points but the Nuggets would never inch closer in a period that closed with the Timberwolves pushing their lead to 89-64. Minnesota scored the first nine points of the final stanza, highlighted by a pair of dunks from Brewer to ensure that there would be no miracle comeback and cruised down the stretch to its first win over Denver in the last four meetings.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman returned to the sidelines after missing Monday's game to address a family matter. ... The Nuggets have allowed 100 points or more in 14 of their last 15 games. ...Minnesota was without C Nikola Pekovic (ankle), who missed his ninth straight game, and G Kevin Martin(thumb), who sat out his third in a row.