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Timberwolves 117, Bucks 95

The SportsXchange

MILWAUKEE -- Forward Kevin Love scored 33 points as the Minnesota Timberwolves rolled to a 117-95 over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

In 35 minutes, Love went 11 of 17 from the field, made 4 of 6 3-pointers and pulled down 14 rebounds to go along with six assists. He paced a Timberwolves offense that shot 48 percent from the field and was 11 of 24 from beyond the arc.

Along with Love, Kevin Martin had a big night for the Timberwolves (15-15), finishing with 20 points. Center Nikola Pekovic had 19 points and 11 rebounds and forward Corey Brewer added 12 points.

Forward Khris Middleton led Milwaukee (6-24) with 23 points and nine rebounds. Guard O.J. Mayo had 19 points off the bench and point guard Brandon Knight finished with 18 points and five assists.

The Bucks (6-24) shot well early but had problems holding on to the ball. Milwaukee's 16 turnovers led to 25 points for Minnesota.

Milwaukee shot 56 percent from the field in the first half but turned the ball over nine times for 14 Minnesota points and struggled to contain the Timberwolves inside, where Love scored 18 on 7-of-11 shooting from the field (3 of 4 3-pointers) as Minnesota went ahead by as many a 14 points and led 64-55 going into the break.

The Timberwolves opened the second half on a 14-0 run to boost the lead to 78-55. Mayo finally got Milwaukee on the board with a 3-pointer with 7:20 left in the third quarter.

Still, Minnesota outscored Milwaukee 39-21 in the quarter and Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman turned to his bench. But he sent Love, Pekovic and guard Ricky Rubio back in after Minnesota went 1 of 17 from the field with seven turnovers to open the fourth quarter, allowing Milwaukee cut the lead to 17 with five minutes to play.

NOTES: Bucks C Larry Sanders made his first start since suffering a thumb injury on Nov. 3 and finished with nine points and 10 rebounds. Sanders was moved into the starting lineup in place of F John Henson, who was sidelined with a lower leg injury. ... Milwaukee's opponents have scored at least 10 3-pointers in each of the last seven games. ... The Timberwolves have won four in a row against Milwaukee, sweeping the series with the Bucks in each of the last two seasons. ... In seven previous career games against Milwaukee, Timberwolves F Kevin Love is averaging 16.7 points and 14.0 rebounds. ... In his first five games since moving to the starting lineup on Dec. 18, Bucks F Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 11.2 points and 6.0 rebounds. Through his first 19 games, Antetokounmpo was averaging 6.0 points and 3.9 rebounds in 18.2 minutes. He finished with six points and five rebounds on Saturday.
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