MINNEAPOLIS – Kevin Love is used to carrying the beat-up Minnesota Timberwolves lately. This time, he finally had some help when he sat down to take a rest.
Love had 42 points and 16 rebounds, Ricky Rubio tied a franchise high with 17 assists, and the Timberwolves beat Paul George and the Indiana Pacers 104-91 on Wednesday night.
J.J. Barea scored 12 points off the bench as the Wolves took control early against the Eastern Conference leaders.
“This is one of my favorite wins of the season just because we played a very good team,” Love said. “We did it without two key players and we fought hard.”
George led Indiana with 35 points, but managed just two in the fourth quarter as the Pacers lost for the third time in five games, never once taking a lead.
“We just didn’t have a whole lot of pop tonight,” said David West, who scored four points and struggled guarding Love all night. “This is a game that I thought we would come out and play a little better than we did. We just didn’t have it, just a step or two slow.”
It was Love’s eighth straight game with at least 25 points and 10 rebounds, the longest streak since Shaquille O’Neal accomplished the same feat Jan. 3-19, 2005. Love has an NBA-best 14 games with 30 points and 10 rebounds this season.
“I thought a lot of the shots he made was good defense,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. “You have to give him credit. He is an extraordinary player and he played an extraordinary game tonight.”
Spurs 111, Trail Blazers 109
In Portland, Patty Mills came off the bench to score 29 points, Marco Belinelli hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:34 remaining and San Antonio defeated the Blazers in a game between short-handed teams.
Rockets 134, Lakers 108
In Los Angeles, Dwight Howard thoroughly enjoyed his visit to the team he left as a free agent after one tumultuous and contentious season, getting 20 points and 13 rebounds in a rout that extended Houston’s winning streak to eight.
Bulls 94, Raptors 92
In Toronto, Carlos Boozer scored 20 points, D.J. Augustin had 19 against his former team and Chicago edged the Raptors to win its fourth straight game.
Warriors 101, Kings 92
In Sacramento, David Lee had 23 points and 11 rebounds, Klay Thompson scored 18 points and Golden State held off the Kings in a game both teams played short-handed.
Cavaliers 101, Magic 93
In Cleveland, Kyrie Irving scored 22 points and the Cavaliers won their sixth straight by beating Orlando.
Bobcats 116, Pistons 98
In Charlotte, Al Jefferson scored 29 points and Kemba Walker had 24 points and dished out a career-high 16 assists.
Nets 105, Jazz 99
In Salt Lake City, Joe Johnson scored 27 points, Andray Blatche had 25, and Brooklyn beat the Jazz for the Nets’ first win in Utah since 2008.
Wizards 114, Hawks 97
In Atlanta, John Wall scored 21 points and Washington recovered to beat the reeling Hawks after almost blowing a 20-point lead.
Knicks 98, Pelicans 91
In New Orleans, Carmelo Anthony capped a 42-point performance with three clutch baskets in the last two minutes, and New York snapped a three-game skid with a victory over the Pelicans.
Suns 100, Celtics 94
In Phoenix, Markieff Morris scored 18 points to lead six Suns players in double figures against Boston.