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Love leads Timberwolves past slumping Grizzlies
Memphis, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Love poured in a game-high 30 points and had nine rebounds to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 101-93 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Nikola Pekovic scored 19 points, J.J. Barea had 15 and Ricky Rubio added 12 for Minnesota, which will travel to Boston to face the Celtics Monday.
Mike Conley netted 28 points and Zach Randolph had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who have lost five of their last six games.
As the fourth quarter began the two teams traded baskets during the first 2:16 and the Grizzlies were within two points until an Alexey Shved layup sparked a Minnesota 9-2 surge.
Memphis was within three points, 95-92, with 2:26 to play, after a Randolph layup. Pekovic then nailed four straight from the charity stripe to put Minnesota back up seven and put the game out of reach.
Memphis started the third quarter down 10 points but refused to let the lead expand beyond that many. With 6:52 left in the third the Grizzlies went on a 8-2 run to get within three points, 67-64.
The teams went back and forth to close out the third and Minnesota led, 77-73, heading into the final quarter of play.
Minnesota expanded its lead by starting a 9-2 run 1:46 into the second quarter. The Timberwolves stretched the lead to as many as 19 points before Memphis went on a 15-6 surge to close out the half and get back within 10 points, 56-46 Minnesota.
A Love 3-pointer with 9:22 left in the first quarter sparked a 17-4 outburst. The run gave Minnesota its first lead of the game, 7-6, which they held all the way to halftime.
The Timberwolves led 21-10 following the run. The Grizzlies tried to chip away at the lead but ended the first down 11.
Corey Brewer scored nine points and had 12 rebounds for Minnesota ... Jon Leuer drained 15 and grabbed nine rebounds and Jerryd Bayless added 14 points for the Grizzlies ... Memphis will host the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday ... The Grizzlies have lost 8-of-10 at FedEx Forum ... Minnesota is 9-2 when Rubio scores 12 points or more.
12/15 21:09:36 ET