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Love, Minnesota shut down Nuggets
Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Love scored a game-high 32 points to go with 11 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 117-90 rout of the Denver Nuggets at the Target Center.
Corey Brewer added 22 points and five steals and Ricky Rubio added 11 points, 12 assists and seven steals for the Timberwolves, who snapped a four-game skid.
"It's always a tough game before the break. We came out with energy. We were excited to play and knew we needed a win. We came out and played hard. It was a great game for us," Love said.
Jose Juan Barea had 18 points off the bench and Chase Budinger finished with 12 in the win.
Jordan Hamilton led the Nuggets with 16 points, six rebounds, seven assists and three steals. J.J. Hickson added 14 points and 13 rebounds and Evan Fournier scored 13 points for Denver, losers in four straight.
"Thank god for the All-Star break. We've been on a nasty slide. This break couldn't come at a better time," Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said.
The Timberwolves opened the game on a 19-3 run and held a 31-19 lead after 12 minutes. Minnesota shot 50 percent (13-for-26) from the field in the first quarter.
The Wolves lead swelled to 24 in the second quarter after a Budinger 3-pointer made the score 61-37 with 1:18 left in the half, and the hosts led 61-41 entering the break.
Denver pulled within 17 early in the third quarter, but Love and Minnesota quickly restored Minnesota's 24-point advantage after he drained a 3-pointer for a 68-44 lead at the 9:17 mark.
A Fournier layup later in the quarter got the Nuggets deficit down to 18, but nine straight points from the Wolves made it 89-62 before Fournier closed out the period with a pair of free throws.
The Wolves led by as many as 36 in the final frame while winning going away.
Minnesota scored 29 points off 21 Denver turnovers. The Wolves have forced at least 20 turnovers 16 times this season ... Love was 11-for-20 from the field and 6-for-11 from 3-point range ... Denver's Randy Foye had 10 points and four assists, but was 3-for-12 from the floor and turned it over eight times ... Denver was 33-for-84 (39.3 percent) from the field.
02/13 00:58:39 ET