NBA

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 - 8:00 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Timberwolves 91, Cavaliers 73

Share This Story

   
 

MINNEAPOLIS (AP)

Kevin Love's shooting stroke returned, and Andrei Kirilenko also was back for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The timing couldn't have been worse for the reeling Cleveland Cavaliers.

Love had 36 points and 13 rebounds and Kirilenko delivered another solid all-around performance in the Timberwolves' 91-73 victory over the Cavaliers on Friday night.

Love missed most of the first month of the season with a broken right hand, and he's been struggling to regain his shooting touch since returning nine games ago. The release looked much more fluid against the Cavs, and the trajectory was better as well. He made 10 of 19 shots and 14 of 18 free throws and is cautiously optimistic that it's all coming back to him now.

''Hopefully it's not fool's gold,'' Love said. ''It's a step in the right direction. I've been putting in work, but it's just one game.''

Kirilenko had eight points, seven rebounds, six assists, four steals and three blocks after missing four games with back spasms and Luke Ridnour added 12 points, seven assists and five rebounds for the Timberwolves, who improved to 9-9 in their best start since the 2006-07 season.

Alonzo Gee scored 16 points and Anderson Varejao grabbed 14 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who have lost four in a row and eight of their last nine while star guard Kyrie Irving has been out with a broken left index finger.

The Cavs turned the ball over 20 times, which led to 32 Minnesota points, shot 34.5 percent and attempted just nine free throws to Minnesota's 35.

''I'm trying to figure out a way to say this without getting fined,'' coach Byron Scott said of the officiating. ''It was that bad. It really was. It was that bad. I mean I understand we're playing in Minnesota, but 35-9, we went to the basket just as much as they did. I think we had 38 attempts in the paint to their 34, we get nine free throws, I think that speaks for itself.''

It wasn't a pretty game offensively for either team, aside from Love's shooting. He entered the night hitting just 19.6 percent of his 3s and 36 percent overall while still trying to get the feeling in his hand back to normal.

''I know I haven't been the 25 (points) and 10 (rebounds) guy that I usually am. ... I haven't been quite putting up the numbers and helping the team as much as I can,'' Love said at the shootaround on Friday morning.

While Love was terrific in the matchup of two of the game's best rebounders, Varejao managed just four points on 2-for-10 shooting and lost a streak of 10 straight games with at least 15 boards. C.J. Miles scored 13 points for Cleveland.

Both teams were missing their playmaking point guards, and it showed in the disjointed mess that was the offense on both sides of the court. Irving missed his 10th straight game and Dion Waiters was out again with a sprained left ankle, robbing the Cavaliers of one of the promising young backcourts in the league.

Once again, the Cavs struggled to create space for easy jumpers, turned the ball over 18 times and really were relegated to hoping for a dunk from Gee on offense. Gee threw down a soaring jam and then knifed through the lane for another two-hander that cut Minnesota's lead to nine points late in the third quarter. He made seven of his 12 shots, but his teammates shot just 30 percent.

Miles' dunk pulled the Cavs to within seven in the fourth, but Minnesota closed the game on a 19-8 surge.

''He's definitely a luxury when you've got a guy that does what he does, who can break his guy down at any point in time,'' Miles said of Irving. ''That's definitely a luxury, but we did a good job, guys are stepping up. We've been in every game to a certain extent, I think we've just got to figure out how to close games, how to win games.''

NOTES: Varejao did limit Wolves C Nikola Pekovic to four points and one rebound on 0-for-3 shooting. ... Cavaliers rookie Kevin Jones made his NBA debut. He had two points and four rebounds in eight minutes. ... Former No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams did not play again for the Wolves, with coach Rick Adelman preferring to give the bulk of the minutes to Love, Dante Cunningham and Greg Stiemsma up front.

Tagged: Andrei Kirilenko, C.J. Miles, Anderson Varejao, Kevin Love, Alonzo Gee, Cavaliers, Timberwolves

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

Blazers take 2-0 series lead over Rockets Posted: Apr 24, 2014
Terry Stotts gives his take on Portland's Game 2 win over the Houston Rockets.

Rockets drop another home game to Trail Blazers Posted: Apr 24, 2014
Kevin McHale discusses what went wrong in the Rockets' Game 2 loss to the Trail ...

Heat edge Bobcats in Game 2 Posted: Apr 24, 2014
Chris Bosh comments on the win over Charlotte in Game 2.

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..