Notebook: Timberwolves 108, Nuggets 105



Posted Dec 13, 2012 12:28 AM

By Jim Beilby, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Minnesota Timberwolves overcame an off-night by Kevin Love to defeat the Denver Nuggets 108-105 on Wednesday night. While Love grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds, he only scored eight points and shot the ball poorly. Nikola Pekovic and Andrei Kirilenko picked up the slack for Minnesota (10-9). Pekovic led his team with 22 points on 7-for-10 shooting and Kirilenko had 18 points and another well-rounded game where his on-the-floor impact exceeded the numbers on the stat sheet.

Kenneth Farried had a monster night for Denver (11-12). After managing only 22 points over his last four games, Farried exploded for 14 in the first quarter of tonight's game and finished with a season high 26 points and 14 rebounds. Danilo Gallinari added 24 points and was 4-for-5 from beyond the arc.

QUOTABLE: "I can't complain about my team's effort. They had some good moments. But there were too many free throws, too many fouls and too many gifts at the free-throw line. They got 30 points [at the line] and they get almost thirty points off our turnovers. Our decisions need to be crisper and our defense has to be smarter."

-- Denver coach George Karl

THE STAT: Minnesota went to the free-throw line 37 times (making 30), while Denver only made 14 in their 24 attempts. Minnesota came into the game ranked third in free throw attempts and had allowed the fewest attempts at the line. Minnesota also turned 19 Denver turnovers into 27 points.

TURNING POINT: After a back-and-forth third quarter, Minnesota built a sizable lead in the early minutes of the fourth quarter to lead 101-90 with 2:04 to play. Denver, however, refused to mail it in and used a 10-2 run over the next 1:20 to cut Minnesota's lead. After a Five Second call gave Denver the ball trailing by three, Minnesota's Dante Cunningham and Kirilenko harassed Ty Lawson into a turnover. The giveaway led to a Kirilenko dunk which gave Minnesota a five point lead with 21.2 seconds to play. After a missed free throw by Cunningham, Denver had a chance to tie the game, but Lawson missed a last-second 3-point attempt. Actually, even if he would have made it, it would not have affected the outcome as officials ruled that Lawson's foot was on the line and would have only been a two pointer.

QUOTABLE II: "It was just a really good win. I think we battled all night long. We didn't shoot the ball well again. We got the lead at halftime and kind of gave it away at the end. But we did enough to win in the end."

-- Minnesota coach Rick Adelman

HOT: Farried scored 14 points in the first quarter on 6-for-8 shooting and Denver shot 65.0 percent as a team.

NOT: Love finished the night 3-for-17 from the floor, 0-for-3 from beyond the arc and 2-for-4 from the line. Minnesota shot 32.1 percent from the field in the opening quarter.

NOTABLE: With their win tonight, Minnesota has matched its best record through 19 games since 2006-07. ... Minnesota guard Malcolm Lee left the game with 1:05 to play in the second quarter with a hyper-extended right knee and did not return.

UP NEXT: For the Wolves, Friday @ New Orleans, Saturday vs. Dallas, Monday @ Orlando. For the Nuggets, Friday vs. Memphis, Sunday @ Sacramento, Tuesday vs. San Antonio.