Love and 3s help Timberwolves rout Bucks 117-95 - NBC Sports

Love and 3s help Timberwolves rout Bucks 117-95
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MILWAUKEE, WI - DECEMBER 28: Kevin Love #42 of the Minnesota Timberwolves shoots against Larry Sanders #8 of the Milwaukee Bucks on December 28, 2013 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
December 28, 2013, 11:09 pm

MILWAUKEE (AP) Kevin Love had 33 points and 15 rebounds for his sixth straight double-double, and the Minnesota Timberwolves climbed back to .500 by routing the Milwaukee Bucks 117-95 on Saturday night.

Nikola Pekovic added 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Love hit four of Minnesota's 11 3-pointers. Perimeter defense was once again a huge problem for the Bucks, who have allowed opponents to hit at least 10 3s in seven consecutive games.

Khris Middleton scored 23 points for Milwaukee on 10-of-20 shooting. Larry Sanders had nine points and 10 rebounds in 33 minutes, his first start since missing seven weeks following right thumb surgery.

The Bucks fell to an NBA-worst 6-24, while Minnesota evened its record at 15-15.

Coach Rick Adelman's club snapped a three-game losing streak on the road behind typically stellar play from Love and long-range shooting.

Kevin Martin (20 points) smiled after his shot from the wing bounced perilously off the rim a couple of times before falling through the net for a 24-point lead with 4:32 left in the third quarter.

The Timberwolves led by as many as 31 before the Bucks mounted a late charge to get to a slightly more respectable deficit.

If only Milwaukee could have contained Minnesota from the perimeter. The Timberwolves, the league's third-highest scoring team (106.1 points per game) shot 45 percent from 3-point territory after hitting at a 33 percent clip for the season.

A nine-point halftime lead climbed to double digits following a 14-0 run to start the third quarter.

Corey Brewer (12 points) got the fun started by freezing rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo on the perimeter and hitting an 18-footer.

Martin hit a 3 from the wing to make it 73-55 with 9:33 left. He was so open that Brewer raised both arms in the air in celebration as he backpedaled on defense before the ball floated through the net.

O.J. Mayo's 3 with 7:26 left finally ended the slide, but the offensively challenged Bucks were still saddled with a 20-point deficit. Milwaukee came in 28th in the league in scoring at 92.6 points per game.

Sanders looked OK in his second game back from the thumb injury, but the return of the shot-blocking center didn't help his team on the perimeter.

Mayo finished with 19 points off the bench while Brandon Knight added 18 points and five assists. The Bucks had 20 turnovers, leading to 25 points for Minnesota.

NOTES: Bucks C John Henson had to celebrate his birthday on the bench with a left leg injury. Henson, who turned 23, said he thought he might have a high ankle sprain, though he is supposed to undergo more tests to determine exactly what's ailing him. It is unclear how long he might be out. ... F Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, drafted by the Bucks in 2008, returned to Milwaukee for the first time since being traded in the offseason to Sacramento. The Kings traded him to Minnesota last month for F Derrick Williams.

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