The Timberwolves improved their shooting Sunday night, and the squad came away with a much-needed road win. Kevin Love led the team with 30 points, followed by Nikola Pekovic who added 19.
On paper, both teams matched up pretty evenly for the evening. They each ended the game with just under 50 percent shooting, and their rebound totals were 44 (MIN) and 47 (MEM). Mike Conley scored 28 points for the Grizzlies, and Zach Randolph came away with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
In the end, however, it was simple: the Wolves put up more points.
As a team, the Wolves’ three-point shooting–not typically a strong area for Minnesota–proved a major factor in the win. The Wolves shot 46.2 percent from the perimeter, knocking down 12 three-pointers on the night. Love tallied four of those buckets, while JJ Barea came off the bench to add three of his own.
Pek also played a huge role in the game. Memphis finally succeeded in shutting Love down in the fourth quarter, and Minnesota needed to find another scorer. Pekovic answered the call, and the big man scored the team’s final six points.
Love consistently tallies double-digit points, but the forward’s offensive performance has drastically increased again over the past few games.
“It’s crazy,” Barea said in reference to Love’s shooting. “It opens up the drive for everybody. Everybody else can play freely. You know they are going to have to pay attention the rest of the game to him.”
Barea’s 15 points off the bench were a nice supplement, as well. Starting shooting guard Kevin Martin looked off-kilter Sunday night, and Wolves fans hope it was a fluke. After 19 scoreless minutes, head coach Rick Adelman took Martin out of the game.
The 101-93 win snapped an 11-game losing streak to Memphis, one that dated back to 2010.
“I can’t [remember winning in Memphis],” Love said post game. “It’s been a long time, if ever, that we’ve won in Memphis. It’s a very tough place to play.”
The victory also preserved Minnesota’s .500 record in the Western Conference.
The Timberwolves flew to Boston, where they will face the Celtics Monday night. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m.