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(Wednesday, April 3rd)
Final Score: Minnesota 107, Milwaukee 98
Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Nikola Pekovic poured in a team-high 27 points to go with eight rebounds and led the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 107-98 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.
Ricky Rubio had 19 points, 12 assists and eight steals and Derrick Williams scored 15 for the Wolves, who have won three of their last four games.
Ersan Ilyasova had 29 points and 12 rebounds and Monta Ellis added 18 points and five boards for the Bucks, losers in six of their last eight.
"Offensively I think we missed 10 layups in the first half alone, combined with eight turnovers in the fourth quarter. It was a very sloppy game," Bucks coach Jim Boylan said.
Minnesota jumped out to a 34-23 lead after the first quarter. The Wolves' lead grew to as many as 13, 42-29, with 9 1/2 minutes left in the second, but the Bucks exploded for a 19-4 run to take a 48-46 lead at the 2:48 mark.
A Rubio trey sparked a 9-2 Minnesota run and the Wolves led 55-52 at the break.
Minnesota led 77-69 with just over five minutes to go in the third, but the Bucks scored six straight to make it 77-75. The Wolves, though, closed the frame on a 10-6 swing to take an 87-81 lead into the final frame.
The Wolves opened the fourth on an 8-4 run to push the spread to 95-85, but once again Milwaukee scored six straight to pull within four points near the midway point of the fourth.
The Bucks couldn't get closer than six the rest of the way.
"I thought in the fourth quarter we were really after them (defensively)," Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. "We got our hands on a lot of balls and had some good stops. We're starting to come together as a team now. Guys are responding and we know what we want to do."
Luke Ridnour scored 13 points and Andrei Kirilenko added 12 points for Minnesota ... The Wolves scored 24 points off 20 Milwaukee turnovers ... Minnesota outscored the Bucks 58-38 in the paint ... Mike Dunleavy finished with 15 points for the Bucks.
04/04 02:04:20 ET