Wolves pound Lakers
Kevin Love recorded his second career triple-double and host Minnesota set a franchise record for points in a regulation game in a one-sided 143-107 win over Los Angeles on Friday.
Love racked up 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a tidy 29 minutes for the Timberwolves, who scored a season-high 73 first-half points and breezed through the final 24 minutes. Nikola Pekovic returned from a six-game injury absence to score 26 points in just 22 minutes while Kevin Martin added 17 for Minnesota, which shot a club-record 67.1 percent from the floor.
Kent Bazemore had 21 points to pace the Lakers, who surrendered a combined 251 points in losses in Milwaukee in Minnesota. Jodie Meeks added 19 points while Robert Sacre chipped in with 11 in a reserve role.
Minnesota controlled the game from the get-go, scoring 20 of the first 24 points and making it a 21-point lead on a pair of Love free throws with 2:33 remaining in the first quarter. It was more of the same in the second period, as a Dante Cunningham transition basket made it a 30-point advantage and the Timberwolves went on to carry a 74-43 lead into the break on the strength of 64.1 percent shooting.
The Timberwolves didn’t give an inch in the second half, pulling ahead by 36 on Martin’s long jumper near the midway point of the third quarter and cruising to a 111-77 advantage entering the fourth. Love completed his triple-double on a rebound at the end of the third, and rested for the final 12 minutes as both teams emptied the benches.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Minnesota’s two centers - Pekovic and Georgui Dieng - combined to shoot 14-of-15 from the field. ... Los Angeles has allowed the two highest point totals in the NBA this season; it surrendered 142 points to the rival Clippers two weeks ago. ... The Timberwolves enjoyed a 49-26 rebounding advantage while outscoring the Lakers 66-48 in the paint.