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Love's 43 not enough as Hawks top Timberwolves

The SportsXchange

ATLANTA -- Not even 43 points by forward Kevin Love was enough to finally get the Minnesota Timberwolves a victory in Atlanta.

Guard Kyle Korver, who stretched his NBA record to 115 consecutive games with a 3-pointer, had 17 of his 24 points in the second half and the Hawks won for the 11th straight time over Minnesota at Philips Arena with a 120-113 victory Saturday night.

Love, who is winless in his six-year career against Atlanta, had 21 points in the fourth quarter, but the Timberwolves could not get closer than two points. The Western Division All-Star Game starter also had 19 rebounds and was 17-for-18 from the foul line.

"We had a tough game here two years ago and again tonight," Love said. "We only get one chance a year."

"Give Kevin Love credit," said Korver, who as 3-for-5 behind the arc. "He kept on coming. He's relentless."

It was the third time that Love scored more than 40 points this season, and the Timberwolves (23-24) are 0-3 in those games.

"I didn't even know, to be honest," Love said of his point total. "I was just trying to get us back in the game by any means."

Forward Paul Millsap had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Hawks before fouling out with four minutes to play.

Guard Jeff Teague joined Korver with a big second half. Teague had 17 of his 19 points after intermission, including 11 in the fourth quarter.

The Hawks (25-21) scored 72 points in the second half after some strong words by coach Mike Budenholzer at halftime.

"Coach laid into us at halftime," Korver said. "...Obviously, it was a great third quarter for us. Hopefully, he doesn't have to talk to us like that all the time."

"We picked up our energy and took it to another level," Teague said.

Korver, who missed his only attempt from behind the arc in the first half, kept his streak alive with a tying 3-pointer early in the third quarter and then hit two more during a 16-2 run as the Hawks took charge.

Atlanta, down 54-48 at halftime, led by as many as 16 points in the third quarter before the Timberwolves, outscored 38-21, cut it to 86-75 going into the fourth.

"I think the third quarter was something we can reference going forward on how we want to play," Budenholzer said.

Forward DeMarre Carroll also had 19 points and forward Mike Scott scored 14, his 11th straight game in double figures off the bench.

Minnesota guard J.J. Barea, who had seven of his 12 points early in the fourth quarter, was ejected with 6:43 remaining after drawing his second technical foul.

Guard Kevin Martin scored 17 for the Timberwolves, but there were few bright spots except for the play of Love.

"He played his tail off and he kept battling," Minnesota coach Rick Adelman said. "But we have to look at the defensive end in the first half. We were not very good."

Love had his NBA-best 40th double-double in 46 games by halftime, with 15 points and 12 rebound as the Timberwolves overcame an early 11-point deficit to go up by 11 after an 18-5 second-quarter run.

Atlanta jumped to a 14-3 edge behind 10 points by Millsap, but the Timberwolves took a 24-22 lead before guard Lou Williams hit Atlanta's first 3-pointer in seven attempts for a 25-24 edge at the end of the first quarter.

Minnesota, which went to the foul line just seven times in a 94-90 home loss to Memphis on Friday, was 33-for-39, while the Hawks went 25-for-30.

NOTES: The Hawks signed F Cartier Martin to a 10-day contract Saturday to replace F James Nunnally, whose second 10-day deal with Atlanta expired Friday. Martin, who averaged 11.3 points in six games with Chicago, averaged 6.6 points in 25 games for the Hawks, but was waived Jan. 7 at the deadline for his season contract to be guaranteed. ... Hawks G Kyle Korver, who has the NBA record with 115 straight games with a 3-point basket, declined an invitation to compete in the 3-point shooting contest at the All-Star Weekend in New Orleans, citing a desire to spend time with his wife and daughter. ... Minnesota C Nikola Pekovic missed his third straight game with inflammation in his right ankle, a bursitis condition that is expected to keep him off the floor for at least another week. ... The Hawks' game against Detroit postponed Wednesday because of snow in Atlanta will be made up on April 8. It gives the Hawks their 21st set of back-to-back games, but the team will have six of their nine April games at home.

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