Timberwolves bounce back for big 106-88 win over Celtics

Posted Nov. 17, 2013, at 4:13 p.m.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Timberwolves understood the message: Good teams don’t let one loss turn into two and good teams find a way to pull out winnable games at home.

That’s why the Timberwolves were especially satisfied with Saturday’s 106-88 victory over the Boston Celtics.

The Wolves were playing their fifth game in seven days and they played disappointing defense in Friday night’s loss at Denver. If Minnesota is truly going to make the step from lottery team to playoff team, home games against under .500 teams have to be victories.

“We’ve talked about from the beginning of the year that we were not good last year at home,” Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman said. “We had our moments, but we were not consistent. If you’re going to be a decent team, you’ve got to win at home and hopefully you break even on the road. Every time we come here, we have to take advantage of it.”

That’s exactly what happened against the Celtics. The NBA’s second highest scoring team, the Timberwolves continued to get points in bunches from a variety of sources. Power forward Kevin Love scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, while center Nikola Pekovic scored 20 and grabbed 12 rebounds and guard Kevin Martin added 20 points.

That trio was too much for Boston to overcome despite point guard Avery Bradley scoring a season-high 27 points and power forward Brandon Bass adding 15. No other Celtics player scored more than 10.

“If you’re a good team, you have to win games like this,” Love said. “We let them stick around for a while, but we put them away. In years past, when we were young and inexperienced, we would have been on the other side of it.”

After winning four consecutive games to get back to .500, the Celtics (4-7) have now lost three games in a row with road games at Houston and San Antonio upcoming early next week.

Leading by only five at halftime, Minnesota took control of the game midway through the third quarter. Pounding the ball inside and getting to the free throw line, Minnesota went on a 16-2 run. When love made a pair of free throws with 5:30 to play in the third, the Timberwolves led 75-57.

Love, who entered the game second in the league in both points-per-game and rebounds-per-game, continued his strong start to the season. His double-double was his 10th in 11 games this season and this was his ninth game in which he scored at least 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

“I think that obviously they are a good basketball team, so again it’s a broken record, but it’s true,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said. “They have good players and those players played really well. I think in the third quarter we ran out of steam, which isn’t an excuse because they played a back-to-back, too.”

The Celtics struggled to get much going offensively for much of the night. One night after scoring a career-high 26 points in a loss to Portland, Boston forward Jared Sullinger was held to three points.

The Celtics struggled to get much going offensively for much of the night. One night after scoring a career-high 26 points in a loss to Portland, Boston forward Jared Sullinger was held to three points.

 

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