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Love, Wolves take on Curry, Warriors

(SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Love and Steph Curry can talk about their first- time starting gigs in the All-Star game Friday night when the Minnesota Timberwolves visit Oracle Arena to face the Golden State Warriors.

Love and Curry were two of four first-time All-Star starters when the league made the announcement on Thursday.

Love got a late push to overtake Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard in the final week of voting.

"I think it's a little sweeter this way because I really didn't expect it," Love said on a conference call. "I was already humbled by the response the fans gave me to being very close to the top (frontcourt players). The outreach by the Minnesota fans and beyond was truly amazing."

Curry, who was widely considered to get snubbed in not making last year's team, was the leading vote-getter among all guards in the league.

The Wolves come into Oracle Arena the winners of two straight thanks to a home-and-home sweep of the Utah Jazz.

On Tuesday in Salt Lake City, Love came close to a triple- double with 19 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists to help the Timberwolves to a 112-97 win.

Corey Brewer also scored 19 points, while Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic netted 18 points apiece for Minnesota. Ricky Rubio added an 11-point, 13- assist double-double in the win.

The Wolves will visit Portland and Chicago before they return home.

The Warriors are struggling a bit, losing three of their last four.

They opened five-game homestand with a 102-94 setback on Monday to the Indiana Pacers.

Curry had 24 points and nine assists, David Lee scored 20 and pulled down 12 rebounds and Andrew Bogut had 10 points and 13 boards for the Warriors. Klay Thompson scored 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting from 3-point range in the setback.

Golden State trailed by 20, 60-40, with 10:48 remaining in the third quarter. The Warriors, though, cut the deficit to single digits, 68-60, after Curry knocked down a 19-footer at the 5:06 mark. Harrison Barnes' 3-pointer just 2:08 into the fourth made it 79-77, but an 8-2 swing put the Pacers in front 87-79.

"I really like my team. I like the way we responded in the second half," said Warriors coach Mark Jackson. "I like the fact that we made mistakes, gave up 17 offensive rebounds while turning the ball over and we were still in the ballgame. When we begin to take care of the little things it's going to be scary how good we can be."

The Warriors have won seven straight against the Wolves and Minnesota has dropped five of its last six as the visitor in this series.