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Golden State at Minnesota

Love's 37 points, 23 boards carry Wolves to victory

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Maybe the Minnesota Timberwolves should hold more of those brutally honest team meetings.

A day after a frank discussion in which players and coaches vented about their frustrating season, the Wolves showed some rare determination and ended a seven-game skid with a 126-123 victory against the struggling Golden State Warriors on Sunday.

Kevin Love led Minnesota as usual, this time with 37 points and 23 rebounds to extend his NBA-leading double-double streak to 46 games. But it was two defensive stops by rookie Wes Johnson that ultimately sealed the victory.

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With a chance for Golden State to win in the final seconds, Monta Ellis drove the lane as the nervous Target Center crowd -- which has witnessed many blown fourth-quarter leads this season -- held its breath. But Johnson swatted Ellis' shot away, and Michael Beasley was fouled after picking up the loose ball with just more than 3 seconds to play.

Anthony Tolliver hit two free throws on the ensuing possession, and Johnson helped force a Warriors turnover on the final inbounds play.

"This was almost a must-win for us," Love said. "We felt like we haven't been playing well the past five or six games, and we had to come out and win this one. So we're just happy we did."

Love had his fourth 30-point, 20-rebound game of the season as the Timberwolves overcame a 14-point deficit. The All-Star forward also went 18 for 23 from the free-throw line to tie Minnesota's franchise records for attempts and makes.

Love's double-double streak, however, has been a painful consolation as the Wolves have failed to show much improvement from last year's woeful campaign. Everything finally came to a head on Saturday as the players and coaches met to clear the air in the hopes of sparking something.

"I feel like everybody took it the right way. Nobody took it hard," Beasley said. "There's no hard feelings, you know? It's kind of what we needed. I feel like everybody took it to heart and didn't want to be all talk. We came to play."

So did the Warriors, save for a miserable third quarter that proved too difficult to overcome as Golden State lost its third straight since the All-Star break. Stephen Curry led the way with 33 points while Dorell Wright added 26.

After scoring 73 points in the first half, the Warriors managed only 16 in the third quarter on a terrible 5-of-27 performance from the floor.

"Just didn't play well in the third quarter whatsoever," David Lee said. "Couldn't buy a bucket on offense. Couldn't stop anybody on defense. Made a good comeback, we didn't give up, but that's beside the point."

The Warriors had won three straight heading into the All-Star break as they tried to make a run at the final playoff spot in the West. After consecutive double-digit losses to Boston and Atlanta, a trip to Minneapolis might have seemed just the antidote for Golden State.

Instead, it proved to be a rough start to the road trip.

"It's a seven-game road trip that's going to more or less make or break the rest of our season and this is not the way to start," Lee said.

Minnesota started 7 for 9 from the floor and shared the ball well early before becoming stagnant on offense. Meanwhile, Wright, Ellis, Curry and Lee took turns getting hot for Golden State, as the Warriors built a 14-point lead in the second quarter.

"Just a painful loss, but you have to move on and get ready for the next game," Warriors coach Keith Smart said.

Notes

  • Love's free throw at the 1:08 mark of the third quarter was the 3,000th point of his career.
  • Timberwolves G Martell Webster (back) missed his third consecutive game. Before the game, coach Kurt Rambis declined to comment on whether he would consider shutting down Webster for the rest of the season, saying he would need more information from the team's medical staff before being able to make a decision like that.
  • Minnesota G Jonny Flynn admits he didn't expect a complete recovery from offseason surgery on his left hip would take so long. "I think it's really going to take a full summer of just going after it every day, really focusing completely on my rehab to get where I need to be," he said.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Kevin Love drives to the hoop, aiding Minnesota's win with 37 points and 23 boards. (Getty Images)
Kevin Love drives to the hoop, aiding Minnesota's win with 37 points and 23 boards. (Getty Images)
Scoreboard
Golden State (26-32)41321634123
Minnesota (14-46) «32373522126
GS:S. Curry 33 Pts
GS:S. Curry 11 Reb
GS:M. Ellis 8 Ast
MIN:K. Love 37 Pts
MIN:K. Love 23 Reb
MIN:J. Flynn 9 Ast
Players of the Game
Golden StateMinnesota

Stephen Curry

Kevin Love
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
3311237231

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Golden State
S. Curry, PG4513-212-2112133
M. Ellis, PG437-196-658120
D. Wright, SG407-208-834326
D. Lee, C387-126-8105520
A. Biedrins, C181-40-02022
V. Radmanovic, SF185-80-041212
R. Williams, SG142-40-01016
E. Udoh, PF100-20-03140
A. Law, PG80-30-00020
L. Amundson, PF72-30-01034
T. Murphy, PFDid Not Play
C. Bell, SGDid Not Play
J. Lin, PGDid Not Play
J. Adrien, SFDid Not Play
Totals 44-9622-24402124123
 45.8%91.7% 
Minnesota
K. Love, PF418-1318-23231337
W. Johnson, SG386-141-273117
M. Beasley, PF3212-230-092425
L. Ridnour, PG285-161-125213
D. Milicic, C132-30-03144
A. Tolliver, PF293-84-4101212
L. Hayward, SF211-43-43015
J. Flynn, PG201-40-01922
N. Pekovic, C94-53-320311
W. Ellington, SG50-20-00000
A. Randolph, PF40-20-01110
E. Curry, CDid Not Play
S. Telfair, PGDid Not Play
M. Webster, SGDid Not Play
G. Stiemsma, CDid Not Play
Totals 42-9430-37612323126
 44.7%81.1% 
Other Games
Pho 110 Final
Ind 108
LAL 90 Final
OKC 87
Phi 95 Final
Cle 91
Char 86 Final
Orl 100
Dal 114 Final
Tor 96
Hou 91 Final
NO 89
Mem 88 Final
SA 95
NY 91 Final
Mia 86
Atl 90 Final
Port 83