Timberwolves 124, Cavaliers 95

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

MINNEAPOLIS -- Who needs Kevin Martin anyway?
The answer for at least one night is the Minnesota Timberwolves, who on Wednesday hummed right along without the NBA's fifth-leading scorer in their 124-95 rout of the Cleveland Cavaliers at Target Center.
Martin was a late scratch after he fell ill Wednesday, so the Wolves simply moved rookie Robbie Hummel into the lineup at small forward, moved Corey Brewer to Martin's guard spot, and their offense just kept on racking up points even without such an efficient scorer at the shooting guard position.
The Wolves (6-3) led by 15 points in the first quarter and by 26 before halftime, scoring a season-high 70 points in a half. Their 124 points were a season high by four.
Minnesota point guard Ricky Rubio delivered 16 points and a career-high 16 assists, Brewer's 27-point night came within two points of his career scoring high, and forward Kevin Love produced a 33-point, eight-rebound, six-assist effort in 32 minutes.
None of the three played in a fourth quarter when Wolves coach Rick Adelman cleared his bench by sending rookie center Gorgui Dieng and forward Shabazz Muhammad out for extended minutes and the home team led by as many as 39 points.
Rubio's 16 assists surpassed his previous career high of 14, which was most recently reached Sunday when he had a triple-double in a rout of the Lakers at Los Angeles.
Both Rubio and Love left the game to a standing ovation late in the third quarter. By then, the Wolves led by as many 36 points.
Love has scored 30 or more points in four of the Wolves' first nine games. He entered the game as the league's second-leading scorer with a 26.4-point average, behind only Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (30.2 points per game).
The Wolves' season-high, 70-point first half was three points more than they put on the Lakers, when they scored a franchise-record, 47 first-quarter points Sunday.
The Cavaliers (3-6) played without center Andrew Bynum, who is away from the team to attend to a personal matter, and they briefly lost All-Star guard Kyrie Irving.
Irving went down hard in the first quarter after getting hit in the face. X-rays on his nose were negative, and he returned early in the second quarter but not before the Wolves went on a 22-8 while he was gone.
Irving finished with a team-high 20 points. Center Anderson Varajao added 13 points for Cleveland.
NOTES: Rookie G Robbie Hummel got his first career NBA start in place of G Kevin Martin (illness). Hummel scored 10 points in 28 minutes. ... Cavaliers C Andrew Bynum missed the first of at least two games this week because of a family matter that has taken him away from the team. Bynum started his first game Monday against the Chicago Bulls and had 11 points and six rebounds in 21 minutes. "It's tough from the standpoint it's still all new for us and we don't have a great rhythm yet," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "We've just got to keep playing and search for that rhythm until he gets back. What he has going on is way more important than what we have going on tonight."... Timberwolves F Kevin Love entered Wednesday's game averaging 26.4 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists in the first eight games. The only NBA players to average 25/15/5 for a full season: Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

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