NBA Game Summary - Minnesota at Houston
(Friday, February 17th)
Final Score: Minnesota 111, Houston 98
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Kevin Love had 33 points and 17 rebounds and Nikola Pekovic scored a career-high 30, as the Timberwolves downed the Rockets, 111-98, on Friday.
Ricky Rubio added 18 points and nine assists for the Timberwolves, who have rebounded from a four-game slide with two straight wins.
"It was not easy," Pekovic said of his play. "It maybe looked easy, but it was very difficult. I am trying to play hard and even if I start missing you can not let it affect you. You can't do everything perfect, but if you play hard you know something good will come."
Chandler Parsons had 18 points for the Rockets. They were coming off of Wednesday's 96-95 win over the Thunder and have lost three of four overall. Kyle Lowry and Courtney Lee both added 17.
Minnesota led 91-77 after three but the Rockets opened the fourth on a 17-4 run to pull within a point. Parsons started the quarter with a layup, hit a three-pointer several possessions later and drove the paint and scored inside to make it 95-94 with just under six minutes left.
From there, Love took over. He scored eight straight points, hitting back-to- back treys and scoring on a fadeaway putback to make it 103-94. Rubio then hit a 19-footer and Pekovic followed with layup to put the Rockets away.
Earlier, Kevin Martin scored 10 first-quarter points, but Minnesota countered with a balanced attack, as every player got on the board, paced by Pekovic's seven, for a 30-29 advantage.
It was 47-47 late in the second when the Timberwolves reeled off a 12-2 run. Love had four points during the burst and Pekovic had a three-point play. He finished with 19 first-half points and Minnesota led 61-54 at the break.
It was back to double-digits, 69-59, early in the third on a Pekovic layup and reached 17 in the closing minutes behind a 7-0 run. Luke Ridnour capped the short spurt with a floater to make it 89-72.
"Look, they just beat us up," said Rockets coach Kevin McHale. "The bottom line is Pekovic had nine offensive rebounds. Rubio dribbled around, made shots, made passes. Ridnour got loose early. They just beat it up. Bottom line. They rolled hard, got in the paint and we didn't have any answers for them."
The Timberwolves took three of four from the Rockets this season to win the season series for the first time since 2004-05...Pekovic's previous career high was 27 points against the Nets in early February...Martin had 16 points.
02/17 23:51:45 ET