Notebook: Timberwolves 105, Pistons 82

Posted Mar 26, 2013 11:00 PM

Dana Gauruder, for

THE FACTS: J.J. Barea tied his season high with 21 points and Nikola Pekovic had 18 points and 11 rebounds as the Minnesota Timberwolves rolled to a 105-82 victory over the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Tuesday. Minnesota made a season-high 14 3-pointers and held Detroit, which has lost 11 of its last 12, to 40.5 percent shooting. Jose Calderon's 14 points led the Pistons.

QUOTABLE: "We've been struggling but I know we can make shots. We just have to believe. Today, the shots were going in and felt comfortable. When the shots are falling in, it's easier to play. We didn't have a good percentage from the three and it's fun to have one of these games."

-- Point guard Ricky Rubio on the Timberwolves' long-range outburst

THE STAT: 29.4. Minnesota ranked last in 3-point percentage at 29.4 percent entering the game. No other team was below 32 percent. But the Timberwolves found their long-range stroke against the Pistons, making seven in the third quarter. Their 3-point percentage on Tuesday was 53.8.

TURNING POINT: The Pistons were down just five, 50-45, early in the third but the Timberwolves were just getting warmed up. Rubio made his second 3-pointer of the quarter with 5:56 left for a 61-48 advantage. Layups by Pekovic and Rubio stretched the lead to 18. When Derrick Williams and Chase Budinger made threes late in the quarter, the Timberwolves were up 24 en route to an 82-54 lead when the quarter end.

QUOTABLE II: "We kept them out of the paint, forced them into tough shots and then got out and ran in transition. It worked for us tonight."

-- Barea on pulling away in the second half

HOT: The Timberwolves couldn't buy a road victory since the All-Star break, losing nine straight away from Target Center. In their last two road victories, they set a franchise road record in a positive way. They have now recorded back-to-back road wins of more than 20 points for the first time in franchise history. They won at Phoenix 117-86 on Friday.

NOT: Detroit's starting unit was on the floor when Minnesota blew the game open. That group was outscored by the Timberwolves' starting five 62-48, with Minnesota's starters making 25 of 38 field-goal attempts. The Pistons starters also committed 10 turnovers while making only eight assists.

ROOKIE WATCH: Alexey Shved had five points and seven assists in 21 minutes. Detroit used four first-year players, led by Khris Middleton, who had 10 points. Starter Kyle Singler was held to eight points and made three turnovers.

NOTABLE: Minnesota's starting backcourt of Luke Ridnour and Rubio combined for 29 points and 12 assists. ... Timberwolves forward Kevin Love missed his 40th consecutive game because of a broken hand. Detroit center Andre Drummond sat out his 22nd straight game with a back injury and reserve guard Will Bynum was sidelined by a right hand strain. ... Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva recorded his 300th career block during the first half. ... The Pistons' last home victory was against Washington on Feb. 13, just before the All-Star break. They are 3-15 since the break, with two of the victories coming at Charlotte. ... Minnesota has won five straight over the Pistons. The will play again in Minnesota on Saturday, April 6. ... Detroit ranked second to last in free throw percentage (69.6 percent) entering the game, ahead of only the Los Angeles Lakers (68.9), but made 11 of 13 on Tuesday. ... Longtime Pistons trainer Mike Abdenour missed the game after being placed on medical leave on Monday.

UP NEXT: For the Timberwolves, Wednesday vs. L.A. Lakers, Friday vs. Oklahoma City, Saturday vs. Memphis. For the Pistons, Friday vs. Toronto, Sunday @ Chicago, Monday @ Toronto.