Dec 27, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio (9) celebrates with guard Kevin Martin (23) during the third quarter against the Washington Wizards at Target Center. The Timberwolves defeated the Washington Wizards 120-98. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio Lead Minnesota Timberwolves To Win Over Washington


The Minnesota Timberwolves had an easy win tonight at home over the Washington Wizards 120-98.

Kevin Love posted his NBA-leading 26th double-double with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Love scored 11 straight points in the first quarter to help the Wolves erase an early 9-0 deficit and avoid their second three-game losing streak of the season while winning their third consecutive home game.

Nikola Pekovic also had a double-double for Minnesota with 18 points and 10 rebounds, his 14th of the season and Ricky Rubio almost hit his second triple-double with 11 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.

Wizard John Wall had 26 points, 22 of which came in the first half, Bradley Beal added 14, center Nene scored 13, guard Martell Webster chipped in 11, and forwards Trevor Booker and Trevor Ariza finished in double figures with 10 apiece.

Beal left the game with 4:25 remaining in the fourth quarter after suffering what appeared to be a left leg injury. He was carried off the floor and to the locker room by teammates Jan Vesely and Ariza, not putting weight on either leg. Beal missed nine games at the end of November through mid-December with a stress injury in his right fibula.

The Wolves led by as many as 20 points in the second half and never let the Wizards closer than 12. But that didn’t stop Washington from trying, they pulled within 12 points twice in the third quarter, but both times Minnesota responded with six consecutive points.

Washington built its biggest lead of the game at 9-0 while the Wolves missed their first six shots from the field. Minnesota shot just 28 percent from the floor in the quarter but stayed close by hitting 8 of 10 free throws.

The Timberwolves used a 13-1 run to spark a season-high, 39-point second quarter and build a 14-point halftime lead despite Wall’s big first half. The 39 points were the most allowed by Washington in a quarter this season.

With the loss, the Wizards failed to reach .500 for what would have been just the second time this season while also missing out on their first four-game road winning streak since March 2008. The 22-point loss was Washington’s largest of the season.

Guard JJ Barea and Alexey Shved scored 17 and 13 points off the bench, respectively, for Minnesota. Guard Kevin Martin added 12 points and forward Corey Brewer also finished in double figures with 10.

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