Wolves Cut Down Nets



MENZIE HENDERSON
Wolves Writer


Timberwolves 103 (9-25) - Nets 88 (9-25) | Target Center


How it happened:
With a 103-88 victory over the New Jersey Nets, the Minnesota Timberwolves were able to begin the year 2011 with an unblemished record.

After a lethargic first half display of basketball for both teams, Kurt Rambis sternly addressed his squad and the Wolves responded by exploding for a 14-0 run to open the second half.

By tightening the defensive approach, the Timberwolves forced the Nets into difficult situations as New Jersey shot a dismal 23.5 percent in the third quarter. By outscoring the Nets 23-9 in the third, Minnesota was able to gain and hold the momentum for the remainder of the contest.

New Jersey’s Sasha Vujacic showed flashes of his past “machine” days as a Los Angeles Laker by scoring 22 points off the bench, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Kevin Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves on New Year’s Day.

Leader of the Pack:
Once again, Kevin Love led the Timberwolves with another double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds. Minnesota effectively used the Luke Ridnour and Love pick-and-roll throughout the game, which often left Love either wide-open or on an undersized opponent. After grabbing his tenth rebound late in the fourth quarter, Love recorded his 20th straight double-double, which is the second longest streak in club history.

Highlight to Remember:
The exciting and high-flying duo of Corey Brewer and Michael Beasley provided fans at Target Center with yet another jaw-dropping play. A picture perfect, fast-break give-and-go between Beasley and Brewer ended with Beasley taking off and throwing down a rim-rattling one-handed slam.

The Numbers Game:
The Timberwolves notched a new club record with six straight games of at least seven three-pointers made.

By holding the Nets to just 88 points, the Timberwolves moved to 7-1 when allowing less than 100 points.

Looking Ahead:
After winning three of their last four, the Timberwolves will travel to face the Eastern Conference leaders of the Boston Celtics on Monday night. Minnesota will then return home for a matchup against the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday.


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