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Timberwolves 121, Pistons 94

Dec 10, 2013; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves shooting guard Kevin Martin (23) is defended by Detroit Pistons shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (5) in the second quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Photo by: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Love returned from a one-game absence to record a game-high 26 points and 16 rebounds as visiting Minnesota cruised past Detroit.

Love, who missed Saturday's game after the death of his grandmother, added seven assists for the Timberwolves, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Nikola Pekovic added 18 points and five rebounds and Kevin Martin pitched in with 18 points to go with four steals.

Brandon Jennings totaled 20 points and dished out seven assists to lead the offense for the Pistons, who have dropped two in a row following a four-game winning streak. Josh Smith finished with 17 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 16 for Detroit, which shot just 28.6 percent from 3-point range.

Love had 12 points in the first quarter to help stake Minnesota to a 33-32 lead. By halftime, the Timberwolves' 64 points marked a season-high for a Detroit opponent at the break, as Minnesota took a 13-point advantage into the locker room, led by 19 points and 11 rebounds from Love.

In the third quarter, the Pistons got as close as 86-75 when Chauncey Billups struck from 3-point range with 2:11 remaining in the period before the Timberwolves used a 10-2 run, sparked by consecutive 3-pointers from Martin to enter the final frame ahead 96-77. Minnesota ensured there would be no fourth-quarter comeback with Robbie Hummel coming off the bench to strike for the stanza's first five points, while the lead never shrunk to less than 19 as the visitors coasted toward the final buzzer.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Pistons SG Rodney Stuckey (knee) missed his second straight game. ... Minnesota has scored 100 points or more in six of its last eight games. ... Detroit C Andre Drummond, who came into the game averaging 18.4 points and 16.8 rebounds in December, finished with a modest eight points and eight boards.

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Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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