National Basketball Association
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               === Sullinger helps Celtics beat Timberwolves ===
 Boston,  MA (  - Jared Sullinger netted 24 points and had 11
 rebounds  to  lead the Boston  Celtics to a  101-97 victory over the Minnesota
 "He's  a scorer. He's always been a scorer. He's been a scorer as long as I've
 known  him. It  never surprises me when scorers make plays," Boston head coach
 Brad Stevens said of Sullinger.
 Avery  Bradley had  19 points  and  Jordan Crawford  added 15  points for  the
 Celtics, who will face the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.
 Kevin Love poured in a game-high 27 points and had 14 rebounds, Nikola Pekovic
 scored  13  and Dante Cunningham had  12 points for Minnesota, which will host
 the  Portland  Trail Blazers Wednesday.  Alexey Shved  added 10 and J.J. Barea
 had 10 points and 11 assists.
 "We  had every chance to win that game; couldn't make a layup, couldn't make a
 shot,  for  our starters  it really  was a  struggle. We  just missed too many
 opportunities  that  were right there for  us," Wolves head coach Rick Adelman
 A  Luc  Mbah a Moute layup  5:45 into the  final quarter tied the game, 84-84.
 There were two more ties and four lead changes until a Sullinger 3-pointer put
 Boston up by three, 95-92.
 Pekovic  made a layup  1:16 later and got Minnesota within one but that was as
 close  as they  would come the rest of  the game as they fouled the Celtics to
 the finish.
 The  third quarter  was back and forth  with neither team leading by more than
 seven points.
 The  Celtics tied the game, 59-59, with 6:39 left in the third quarter. A Kris
 Humphries  layup  2:17 later gave  Boston the lead back  and they took a 74-69
 advantage into the fourth.
 Minnesota  sparked  a 10-4 run  with 6:31 left in  the second quarter. The run
 brought  the T'wolves  within one point after a Barea 3-pointer with 4:09 left
 in the half.
 In  the  last 3:02  of the  half there were  four lead  changes and three ties
 before the Celtics took a one point advantage at the half, 51-50.
 The  Celtics  jumped right  out the gate  with an 8-2  run early on. Minnesota
 traded baskets for the rest of the first quarter. The Timberwolves came within
 three points but ended the first down eight, 29-21.
                                   Game Notes
 The  Celtics had  won 12 straight against Minnesota prior to dropping the last
 two  meetings ...  Boston shot 7-of-21 and Minnesota shot 8-of-29 from the arc
 ...  Mbah a  Moute scored nine and  had six rebounds for Minnesota and Pekovic
 added seven rebounds.
 12/17 01:30:27 ET