Pekovic powers Wolves over slumping Hawks, 108-103


Pekovic powers Wolves over slumping Hawks, 108-103

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Nikola Pekovic had 25 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, Andrei Kirilenko added 21 points and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Atlanta Hawks 108-103 on Tuesday night.

Derrick Williams scored 17 points and Alexey Shved had 15 for the Timberwolves, who were missing coach Rick Adelman due to personal reasons. Terry Porter filled in and led the Wolves to their first victory over Atlanta since 2006, snapping an 11-game skid.

Josh Smith had 21 points and 13 rebounds and Al Horford had 19 points and 11 boards for the Hawks, who have lost three straight and four of their last five. They lost for the first time this year when Smith and Horford each get a double-double.

Minnesota point guard Ricky Rubio had eight assists and four points in 18 minutes in his first game back after missing the previous four with back spasms.

Lou Williams finished with 21 points and eight assists for the Hawks, who had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds. But Dante Cunningham stole the inbounds pass and Luke Ridnour knocked down two free throws to seal the win.

The Timberwolves led by 14 to start the fourth quarter, with the Hawks showing few signs of getting back into the game. But Lou Williams scored seven quick points and Horford backed Derrick Williams down for a short jumper to trim the deficit to four with six minutes to play.

Kirilenko hit two 3s for a 100-89 lead with 4:15 remaining, but Kyle Korver hit two 3s and Lou Williams scored on a driving layup during a 12-2 surge that brought Atlanta within one. Korver finished with 15 points.

Pekovic was given a basket on a goaltending violation by Smith and Cunningham hit a 21-foot jumper with 15.9 seconds left to hold off the Hawks.

The Wolves have been the worst 3-point shooting team in the league virtually all season, but they hit 8 of 15 against the Hawks to get a big win before a four-game road trip.

While the Heat and Knicks grabbed all the headlines in the first two months of the season, the Hawks quietly put together a solid start that kept them right on their heels. They won 19 of their first 28 games, beating the likes of Oklahoma City, Indiana (twice), the Clippers and Memphis along the way to legitimize their standing as a contender in the East. But they lost at Detroit and home against Boston in a back-to-back last weekend, scoring just nine points in the third quarter against the Celtics.

Coach Larry Drew said he thought his team panicked for the first time all season, then watched it struggle to keep up with Minnesota's crisp ball movement and Derrick Williams' shot-making in the first half. The second-year forward has never been in Adelman's good graces, and his playing time has been sporadic, with the veteran coach favoring the more consistent Cunningham.

With Kevin Love out with a broken hand, Williams scored 18 points in the fourth quarter of a loss to Portland on Saturday night, then hit three of four 3-pointers in the first half to help the Wolves take a 17-point lead.

NOTES: Porter interviewed for an assistant position on Drew's staff when he was hired in Atlanta. How'd that go? ``I didn't get it,'' Porter said with a chuckle. ... The Timberwolves played host to 16-year-old Cody Metz as part of the Make-A-Wish program. Metz is a devoted fan who has suffered from numerous complications following surgery on a brain tumor five years ago. Metz watched the game from a suite and planned to accompany the team on a road trip to Oklahoma City. ``This definitely gives me something to look forward to,'' Metz said. ``I'm really excited.''

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

Philadelphia Eagles lineman Michael Bennett has been indicted on felony abuse for allegedly pushing an elderly NRG Stadium worker during Super Bowl LI.

Bennett was indicted by the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office for injury to the elderly — which is intentionally and knowingly causing injury to a person 65 years or older, according to a press release from the Harris County Sheriffs' Office.

A warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest.

The 66-year-old paraplegic stadium worker was attempting to control field access when Bennett allegedly pushed her. 

The maximum penalty Bennett faces is ten years in prison in addition to a $10,000 fine.


Bennett — whose brother Martellus played in that Super Bowl for New England — was a member of the Seattle Seahawks during the incident and was in attendance as a noncompetitive player.

The NFL has been made aware of the situation and is looking into the matter, according to Pro Football Talk.

The 32-year-old 10-year NFL veteran could potentially face NFL discipline under the league's personal conduct policy. 


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Wizards host students from Stoneman Douglas High School ahead of 'March For Our Lives'

Wizards host students from Stoneman Douglas High School ahead of 'March For Our Lives'

With a march on Washington planned for this weekend following the mass shooting in Parkland, FL, students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were invited by the Wizards to attend their Friday morning practice at Capital One Arena.

About 20 of the kids showed up to watch the Wizards practice, took pictures with players, got a tour of the facilities and walked away with Wizards hats and gear. It was a small break away from what has been a tumultous time ever since the massacre at their school on Feb. 14.

Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis was on hand to speak with the students, who are set to lead the 'March For Our Lives' through downtown Washington on Saturday.


Wizards guard Bradley Beal met with the media after taking photos with the students.

"For us to be able to take their mind off of it for just a few minutes is always a great feeling," Beal said. "At the end of the day, we're all human beings regardless of our careers are and what our jobs are. A lot of us have families, kids, brothers and sisters. The last thing that you want to happen is what happened to several of those families. You can never imagine."

Beal went to college in Florida and has participated in his own forms of activism. He has found inspiration in the efforts by Stoneman Douglas students. They have taken what happened to their school as a catalyst for what they hope produces change in the ability to protect similar attacks from happening again.


Beal, 24, finds that admirable.

"It's amazing sometimes to learn from the youth on how to do things," Beal said. "It's a testament to where our world needs to lead to, to where we need to get to and to come together as a society. It starts with us as the younger generation. We've gotta come together with love and do things like this. I think what they're doing is awesome. It's spreading positive vibes and it's true humanitarian work that they're doing."

The Stoneman Douglas students are expected to attend Friday night's Wizards-Nuggets game as well.

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