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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Love, Timberwolves turn up heat in fourth


PHOENIX — Kevin Love got comfortable Monday night and then he got in a groove at the right time.

News photo
Bucket bound: Chicago's Derrick Rose drives on New York's Jeremy Lin in the second half on Monday night. The Bulls beat the Knicks 104-99. AP

Love scored 13 of his game-high 30 points in the fourth quarter and the Minnesota Timberwolves outlasted the Phoenix Suns 127-124.

"The biggest thing for me is I didn't get a good warm up," said Love, who set a franchise mark with his 15th 30-point game of the season. "I had good looks in the first half but the ball never really felt right in my hand. I decided to get my legs under me in the second half and that was the biggest difference."

Love had been relatively quiet over the first three quarters, hitting only one 3-pointer and scoring 14 points through the game's first 34 minutes.

But he hit a 3 to key a 7-0 Minnesota run late in the third then hit consecutive 3s in the first minute of the fourth as the Timberwolves took a 98-92 lead.

Love finished 11 of 23 from the floor, including 5-of-9 shooting from behind the arc.

"We just have to do a better job of understanding what happens in (defensive) rotations," said Suns coach Alvin Gentry. "We can't let Kevin Love catch the ball and shoot nine threes without ever putting it down."

Nikola Pekovic scored 24 points and Derrick Williams added 19 to help the Timberwolves snap a nine-game losing streak in Phoenix.

Jared Dudley scored a season-high 28 points, Steve Nash had 25 and Channing Frye added 18 for the Suns, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.

Bulls 104, Knicks 99

In Chicago, Derrick Rose scored 32 points as the Bulls won for the 10th time in 11 games and handed New York its sixth straight loss.

Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 21 points.

Celtics 94, Clippers 85

In Los Angeles, Paul Pierce scored 10 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, Kevin Garnett added 21 points and eight rebounds, and Boston made an impressive late rally to win for the second time in its last nine road games.

Jazz 105, Pistons 90

In Salt Lake City, Al Jefferson scored 33 points just 24 hours after his grandmother's death, leading Utah past Detroit.

Spurs 112, Wizards 97

In San Antonio, Tony Parker scored 31 points in his return from a one-game absence to lead the Spurs past Washington.

Parker, who missed Friday's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers with a strained right quadriceps, hit 13 of 18 shots and had seven assists. Tiago Splitter scored 17 points, Tim Duncan added 14, and DeJuan Blair had 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Bobcats 73, Hornets 71

In New Orleans, Gerald Henderson scored 15 points, rookie Bismack Biyombo blocked Trevor Ariza's driving dunk attempt in the final seconds, and Charlotte held on to beat the hosts.

Kemba Walker added 14 points, including 10 during a decisive 22-5 run that spanned from late in the third quarter to midway through the fourth.

Bucks 105, Nets 99

In Newark, New Jersey, Brandon Jennings has 34 points, seven assists and seven rebounds and Milwaukee won its third straight overall and beat the Nets for the 10th consecutive time.

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