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Timberwolves 109, Knicks 100

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Kevin Love registered his third double-double in as many games to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 109-100 win over the New York Knicks on Sunday night at Madison Square Garden.

The 6-foot-10 power forward scored 34 points and pulled down 15 rebounds for the Timberwolves (3-0). Kevin Martin contributed 30 points for Minnesota.

Carmelo Anthony, the NBA's leading scorer last season, led the Knicks with 22 points.

Love, who entered the game ranked third in the league in scoring (27.5 ppg) and second in rebounding (14.5), missed 62 games last season to an injury to his right hand. In his absence Minnesota went a disappointing 31-51.

After the Knicks made two fourth-quarter runs to get back in the game after trailing by as many 23 points in the third quarter, Love banked a shot to give Minnesota a 106-98 edge with 3:19 to go. Prior to that basket Martin drained a 3-pointer and a free throw thanks to a technical foul on Pablo Prigioni.

Iman Shumpert's wide-open 3-pointer from the right corner pulled the Knicks to within two points at 100-98 with 4:45. New York used an 8-2 run to close to within five points, 97-92, with 6:27 left to play.

The Knicks made a move late in the third with a mini five-point run, but still trailed by 15 points, 93-78. Corey Brewer's jumper at 7:38 of the third gave the Timberwolves a 23-point cushion at 76-53.

Anthony picked up his third foul with 9:28 left in the third quarter and the Knicks trailing 71-53.

The Timberwolves used crisp ball movement to create open looks en route to a 64-49 first-half lead. Point guards Ricky Rubio and Jose Juan Barea combined for 11 of the Timberwolves' 14 first-half assists.

Meta World Peace provided the Knicks' offense a spark off the bench, tossing in 12 points.

Love keyed the first quarter with 13 points, including converting four free throws after he was fouled beyond the arc, then shoved after the shot by Kenyon Martin for a technical. That started a 17-4 run that gave Minnesota a 40-19 first-quarter cushion.

The Knicks turned the ball over six times in the first quarter and shot just 30.4 percent (7 of 23) from the field.

NOTES: The Timberwolves' 64 first-half points were a season high. ... Minnesota reserve C Ronny Turiaf is sidelined indefinitely after sustaining a radial head fracture in his right elbow on Friday night against Oklahoma City. ... Timberwolves G Ricky Rubio ranks second in the NBA in assists (10.5 apg) and steals (4.00 spg). PF Kevin Love reached double figures in points and rebounds in Minnesota's first two games. ... Knicks F Carmelo Anthony has averaged 31.6 points in his last five home games against the Timberwolves. ... A moment of silence was observed before the game for the passing of Hall of Famer Walt Bellamy, who played for the Knicks in the mid-1960s.
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