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Johnson, Love keep Wolves undefeated

Rookie Wesley Johnson scored 16 points and the new-look Minnesota Timberwolves remained undefeated in the preseason with a 122-108 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night.

Michael Beasley had 21 points and Kevin Love added 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Timberwolves (3-0), who won just 15 games last season.

Carmelo Anthony scored 19 points for Denver, but was just 2 for 9 from the floor. He went 15 for 16 from the free throw line.

Anthony played only 21 minutes and the Nuggets rested Chauncey Billups. They also were without Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen, who are recovering from offseason surgeries, and Al Harrington, who injured his left foot in the preseason opener against Portland.

The fact they were playing a short-handed opponent means little to the Timberwolves, who are coming off one of the worst seasons in franchise history. Any success, against any opponent, is cause for celebration these days.

They beat the Lakers, who played Kobe Bryant just six minutes, in London last week and came back to beat the Knicks in Paris a few days later.

The Wolves have done it early with a renewed commitment to defense and vastly improved shooting from the perimeter.

Martell Webster had 12 points and three big blocks, and Johnson went 3 for 5 from 3-point range. The Wolves have made 26-of-49 3-pointers (53 percent) in the three exhibition games after shooting 34 percent from behind the arc last season.

The Nuggets did most of their work from the free throw line, making 41-of-56 fouls shots.

Both teams also got a taste of the crackdown on "overt" gestures toward officials in the second quarter. After a touch foul on J.R. Smith, point guard Luke Ridnour put his arms out and groused a little bit toward referee Nick Buchert. It didn't appear to be particularly egregious, but Buchert handed out the technical foul anyway.

It's all part of an effort by the league to demand more respect for game officials and cut down on the amount of complaining and bickering that happens during games.

Renaldo Balkman then got a technical in the fourth for tossing the ball toward the Wolves bench in frustration after a 24-second violation.

It was the second shot clock violation of the game for the Nuggets, an encouraging sign for the Wolves, who forced 25 turnovers.

NOTES: Nuggets coach George Karl, who missed a portion of last season while getting treated for throat cancer, was sitting in the hallway talking to reporters when referee Monty McCutchen walked by and greeted him warmly to welcome him back. "I'm going to be yelling at you later," Karl said, wryly. McCutchen: "That's just fine. I look forward to it."