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(Saturday, January 18th)
Final Score: Minnesota 98, Utah 72
Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Love controlled the paint by combining for 45 points and 27 rebounds in the Minnesota Timberwolves' 98-72 rout of the Utah Jazz.
Pekovic had 27 points and 14 boards and Love tallied 18 points with 13 rebounds. Kevin Martin scored 20 for the Timberwolves in the front part of a home-and-home set. The teams will meet again Tuesday in Salt Lake City.
Ricky Rubio had six points, nine assists and eight rebounds for the Timberwolves, who snapped a three-game skid.
"It's the way we have to play," Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman said. "We know the next one, same team, at their place it's going to be tough. We have to come with the same energy."
Alec Burks had 18 points to pace Utah, which shot just 28.8 percent from the field. The Jazz won by 21 at Detroit Friday, but scored only 23 first-half points a night later and had their five-game winning streak against the Timberwolves broken.
The Jazz shot 8-of-39 in the opening half and were behind by as many as 36 points.
"We didn't have any pep to us, any energy," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "We settled for jump shots and they were going to the basket. Give them credit, they were the aggressive team tonight."
Minnesota scored nine straight for an 18-9 lead, as Pekovic capped the burst with a layup with 4:35 left in the opening quarter. The Timberwolves led 23-14 after 12 minutes.
When Martin nailed a pull-up jumper with 4:11 remaining in the second, the Timberwolves doubled the advantage to 38-19. Martin drained a 3-pointer in the closing seconds for a 51-23 halftime cushion.
The 36-point margin came in the final minute of the third when Rubio drove in for a layup and a 79-43 difference. Burks converted a layup on the ensuing possession to end the quarter, but the Timberwolves were able to use their bench players for the entire fourth quarter.
Utah turned the ball over 16 teams, leading to 28 Minnesota points ... The Timberwolves have won just three of the last 14 meetings ... Utah was 7-of-25 from beyond the arc ... Minnesota held a 60-42 rebounding edge and a 50-18 scoring margin in the paint.
01/19 00:51:07 ET
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