AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- It took almost three full seasons, but the Minnesota Timberwolves finally won a game in April.
Nikola Pekovic scored 23 points and J.J. Barea flirted with a triple-double to help the Timberwolves to a 91-80 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Thursday night. The win was the franchise's first in the final month of the regular season since 2009 -- breaking a 27-game losing streak.
"We finally got a win," said Berea, who finished with 13 points, 12 assists and six rebounds to help Minnesota snap an 11-game overall losing skid. "We had a lot of energy and we moved the ball well."
The Timberwolves never trailed and took a 49-31 halftime lead after shooting 57 percent (21 of 37) from the field. An 8-0 run pushed the lead to over 20 points midway through the third quarter but the Pistons rallied in the fourth to make it close.
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"Except for parts of the fourth quarter it was pretty good," Minnesota coach Rick Adelman said. "We just want to see if we can turn this around in the last two games and end the season on a positive note."
Pekovic made five of his first six shots to start the game and had 13 points in the first half to pace the Wolves, who hadn't won since March 28, at Charlotte. He finished with nine rebounds.
The Pistons ended the first quarter by missing 10 straight field goals and shot just 29 percent in the first half. The 31 first-half points were one off their worst halftime output this season.
Detroit trailed 78-55 with less than 8 minutes to play but outscored the Wolves 19-3 over the next 6 minutes to cut the lead to seven points. Pekovic had a putback and dunk in the last 90 seconds to end the rally and force the Pistons to foul.
Pistons coach Lawrence Frank, who called Wednesday's lackluster 116-84 loss at Atlanta "unacceptable," wasn't much happier with most of the next night's effort.
"We looked a little punch drunk at times out there," he said after his team's starters shot a combined 16 of 50 from the field.
|Nikola Pekovic tallies 23 points as the Timberwolves win their first game in April since 2009, ending a streak of 27 losses. (Getty Images)|
|Minnesota (26-38) «||24||25||19||23||91|
|MIN:N. Pekovic 23 Pts
MIN:A. Randolph 10 Reb
MIN:J. Barea 12 Ast
|DET:T. Prince 18 Pts
DET:C. Villanueva 12 Reb
DET:T. Prince 3 Ast
|Players of the Game|
Jose Juan Barea
Minnesota Timberwolves Jersey #9 Rubio
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|J. Barea, PG||39||5-12||2-2||6||12||2||13|
|N. Pekovic, C||32||10-17||3-6||9||2||1||23|
|M. Webster, SG||27||1-4||0-0||3||2||1||3|
|A. Randolph, PF||27||5-10||5-6||10||0||2||15|
|W. Johnson, SF||22||2-6||0-0||2||0||2||5|
|W. Ellington, SG||25||2-4||2-2||3||1||0||6|
|M. Beasley, PF||24||5-10||3-6||7||4||0||13|
|A. Tolliver, PF||20||0-2||0-0||3||2||2||0|
|D. Williams, PF||16||3-6||5-6||4||0||0||11|
|M. Lee, SG||9||1-2||0-0||1||1||1||2|
|B. Miller, C||Did Not Play|
|D. Milicic, C||Did Not Play|
|L. Ridnour, PG||Did Not Play|
|K. Love, PF||Did Not Play|
|R. Rubio, PG||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|T. Prince, SF||33||7-17||3-5||5||3||1||18|
|R. Stuckey, PG||30||2-8||0-0||1||3||2||4|
|G. Monroe, C||28||3-7||0-0||5||2||2||6|
|B. Knight, PG||28||2-12||0-0||3||1||1||5|
|J. Maxiell, PF||25||2-6||0-0||4||0||1||4|
|B. Gordon, SG||26||5-14||3-3||4||3||2||14|
|C. Villanueva, PF||23||2-6||0-0||12||0||5||6|
|J. Jerebko, SF||16||2-3||0-0||6||1||2||6|
|V. Macklin, PF||15||0-0||0-0||1||0||3||0|
|W. Bynum, PG||12||8-15||1-1||2||1||2||17|
|D. Wilkins, SG||4||0-3||0-0||0||0||0||0|
|B. Wallace, C||Did Not Play|
|W. Russell, PG||Did Not Play|
|A. Daye, SF||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|