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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, December 14th (All times Eastern)

Minnesota Timberwolves (10-9) at New Orleans Hornets (5-16), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Kevin Love made some controversial comments this week about the Minnesota Timberwolves and their plan for the future. The main piece to the organization, Love didn't back down from his words and will have to let out his frustration on the court Friday against the New Orleans Hornets.

Love said he would love to be with the franchise for his entire career, but was concerned about his four-year deal instead of a maximum five-year pact he could have agreed to. Love, who can opt out of his current deal in two years, said he wished he would have made his comments internally rather than public.

The All-Star and Olympic gold medalist had just eight points and grabbed 14 rebounds in Wednesday's 108-105 victory versus the Denver Nuggets.

"I'm just glad that we battled out this win tonight," said Minnesota forward Kevin Love. "You know, we grinded things out tonight and we're able to come out on top. It wasn't always pretty, but we did what we had to do."

Nikola Pekovic posted a season-high 22 points and 11 rebounds, while JJ Barea added 17 points, eight assists and five rebounds. Andrei Kirilenko had 18 points for the Timberwolves, who had their biggest lead at 89-75 and won for the fourth time in the last five tries.

The T'Wolves, owners of a 10-5 record when scoring 90-plus points, will try to improve on their 4-6 road record. Their overall mark of 10-9 is the best start through 19 games since opening 2006-07 with an identical record.

New Orleans is mired in a five-game losing streak which continued with Wednesday's 92-88 setback at Oklahoma City. The Thunder overcame a double- digit deficit by shooting 57 percent (20-of-35) from the field in the second half.

Greivis Vasquez missed a potential go-ahead 3-pointer in the closing seconds, while Brian Roberts and Ryan Anderson led the Hornets with 16 and 14 points, respectively.

"I thought we brought an edge," Hornets head coach Monty Williams said. "Obviously we lost the game, but when we compete that way and keep our turnovers down, you give yourselves a chance."

Rookie Anthony Davis totaled 11 points and four rebounds in 28 minutes in his second game back from a stress reaction in his left ankle. Fellow rookie Austin Rivers netted 12 points in 38 minutes and is averaging 10.8 ppg over his past three contests.

New Orleans is 0-13 when outshot by the opponent, 0-10 when allowing 100-plus points and 0-11 when trailing after three quarters. The Hornets are just 2-13 when failing to reach the century mark in points.

After hosting Minnesota, the Hornets will open a four-game western trek against the Blazers, Warriors, Clippers and Spurs.

The Hornets took two of three from the Wolves a season ago and have won nine of the past 12 in this series. Minnesota has dropped six of eight trips to the Big Easy.

12/14 10:32:24 ET