Love may have only made 8 of 20 shots, but he needed a bounce-back game like this after a curiously lifeless performance in a loss to Houston on Wednesday. He has struggled with his shooting ever since coming back at the end of November from two broken bones in his right hand. He admitted earlier on Saturday that all the clanking had frustrated him to the point that it was trickling down to other parts of his game, including his effort on the defensive end and getting other people involved.
"It was a different way he played tonight," coach Rick Adelman said.
Love entered the night shooting a career-worst 35.5 percent from the field and just 22.5 percent on 3-pointers. He came out much more aggressive against the Suns, scoring 13 points and hitting two of his three 3s in the first quarter.
"Some days it feels good and some days it's not so good," Love said. "Hopefully the new year will bring good things for me and this team."
Scola rendered Love's strong start almost inconsequential. The Argentinian had everything going on Saturday, knocking down 18-footers, spinning to the rim on breakaways and dropping soft hook shots over Love for easy buckets. But when Gentry went small with him at the center spot in the fourth quarter, Pekovic made him pay.
"''These moral victories, or whatever you want to call them, don't do anything because at the end of the day they either put it on the left side or the right side," Gentry said. "These games so far, the majority of them have gone on the right side. That's not a good thing for us."
NOTES: Former Timberwolves F Michael Beasley received a healthy round of boos when he entered the game off the bench for the first time. He finished with two points and missed 7 of 8 shots. ... The Wolves announced a crowd of 19,356, their second straight sellout and third of the season. ... Derrick Williams scored 10 points for the Wolves. ... The Wolves finished the month 7-5, their first winning December since 2004.
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