MINNEAPOLIS -- An ailing Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic combined for 29 points and 30 rebounds, helping the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 95-85 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night at Target Center.
Love, who was feeling ill, scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds while Pekovic added 14 points and 16 rebounds for the Wolves (7-8). Love seemed to avoid the paint, but managed to post his sixth double-double in as many games while playing 32 minutes -- below his average of 36.8 a game.
Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings led the Bucks (7-7) with 18 points apiece. Forward Larry Sanders came off the bench to collect a career-high 10 blocked shots and 12 rebounds.
The Wolves went on an 11-0 run to build a double-digit lead with five minutes remaining. The Bucks pulled to within eight points, but Alexey Shved, who scored 16 points off the bench, hit shot-clocking beating 3-pointer and closed the Bucks out.
Wolves Nikola Pekovic was forced to battle the Bucks' front court of Henson, Samuel Dalembert and Larry Sanders, who made five first-quarter blocks. Pekovic recorded 12 points and eight rebounds in the first quarter.
The pace slowed down in the second, as the teams tightened their defense. The Wolves, already short-handed in the backcourt with guards Ricky Rubio and Brandon Roy out indefinitely and Malcolm Lee scratched with a sore groin, struggled to score from the outside.
The Wolves grabbed a 57-47 halftime lead as Joe Barea hit a 3-pointer at the intermission buzzer.
NOTES: Forward Andrei Kirilenko sat out his second consecutive game with back spasms. He expects to be back Tuesday. ... Rubio has begun practicing with the team, but no update was given on when he will play his first game. ... Lee sat out the game with a sore left groin.