Timberwolves beat Pistons 121-94

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 10, 2013 at 10:18 pm •  Published: December 10, 2013
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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Pistons are building their franchise around a talented frontcourt.

On Tuesday night, the Minnesota Timberwolves gave them some tips on how that's done.

Kevin Love had 26 points and 16 rebounds, while Corey Brewer and Nikola Pekovic combined for 29 points as the Timberwolves routed the Pistons 121-94. The Timberwolves didn't dominate inside, matching Detroit's 44 points in the paint, but the Pistons struggle to win games if they don't have a major advantage in the post.

"We were trying to make them take outside shots," Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman said. "They made a lot in the first quarter, but our whole point is transition defense, getting back and trying not to give them anything near the basket."

As it often does, forcing the Pistons to shoot jumpers turned their offense into chaos. Detroit hit just 38 percent of its outside shots, and 29 percent from 3-point range. In the meantime, the Timberwolves were shooting almost 50 percent from 3-point range and took 33 free throws to Detroit's 16.

"They are such a hard team to defend, because they can score in so many ways," Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks said. "Once they get scoring, they almost never stop, so you have to keep scoring with them. We had a couple stretches where we either turned the ball over or missed a few shots in a row, and that let them get away from us."

Love only played 30 minutes, sitting out the fourth quarter with the big lead. Detroit was unable to stop him inside, outside or on the break. Several of his seven assists came on his trademark 70-foot outlet passes off missed shots.

"He's a unique player, because he can sit down on the block and score against you, and then he can step out and hit 3-pointers," Cheeks said. "On the other end, he's grabbing rebounds and hitting those passes over the top on the break. He hit a few of those against us, and that's an easy basket."

Love missed Minnesota's loss to Miami on Dec. 7 to attend the funeral of his grandmother. He had "RIP Grandma Carol" written on his shoes Tuesday, and said he was playing with a little extra incentive.

"She's supported me since I was a baby, so I wanted to make sure and do something special for her tonight," he said.

Kevin Martin added 18 points for Minnesota, which finished with six players in double figures.

"We did a great job of pushing the ball," Minnesota guard Ricky Rubio said. "We had fun out there, and we were aggressive. That got us to the line, and then Kevin (Love) just does everything for us."

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