The Minnesota Timberwolves have once again fallen below .500 after the lost to the Atlanta Hawks 120-113. And this lose poses more questions than answers.
Kyle Korver scored 24 points that included a trio of 3-pointers in a third-quarter stretch that gave Atlanta the lead.
Kevin Love had 43 points and 19 rebounds, this was the third time this season and seventh time in his career that Love had over 40 points. But that wasn’t enough to help the Wolves grab the win.
Paul Millsap had 20 points and 13 rebounds before fouling out late in the game.
A jam by Minnesota’s Corey Brewer with 2:55 remaining cut Atlanta’s lead to 107-104. Jeff Teague, who had 19 points, drove for a layup and DeMarre Carroll‘s free throws pushed the lead to seven points.
Love came back with a 3-pointer that trimmed the margin to three but Atlanta’s Gustavo Ayon banked in an unlikely scoop shot to thwart the comeback attempt.
Kevin Martin had 17 points for the Timberwolves. Carroll scored 19 for Atlanta.
The Timberwolves led by 11 late in the first half but the Hawks scored 38 unanswered points in the third quarter.
Love hurt his ankle late in the first half of Friday night’s 94-90 loss to Memphis. He participated in warmups before the game against the Hawks and said staying on the court would be all he needed to keep the ankle loose.
The Timberwolves started slow, they missed their first eight shots from the field and that gave Atlanta the lead 14-3. Millsap scored 10 of the Hawks’ first 12 points but had only two the remainder of the half.
The Hawks held their last lead of the half at 38-36 before Minnesota scored eight straight points, including a jam by Ronny Turiaf and a jumper by Love. The Timberwolves added another 8-0 run later in the half, taking a 54-43 advantage, and led 54-48 at halftime.
Korver, guarded closely by Brewer much of the game, missed his only 3-point attempt in the first half. Korver finally broke free to sink his first 3 with 7:32 remaining in the third quarter for a 60-all tie, extending his NBA record to 115 consecutive games with a 3.
Korver added another 3-pointer about a minute later and sank his third with 4:20 remaining in the quarter, giving Atlanta a 73-62 lead.
Minnesota opened the final period with quick 3s by J.J. Barea and Alexey Shved to trim Atlanta’s lead to 86-81.
Barea was ejected with 6:43 remaining. He was called for a technical foul on Minnesota’s end of the court and argued his case at the other end, stepping inside the 3-point arc before finally being tossed as Korver was setting up for the free throw.