MINNEAPOLIS – Kevin Love scored 25 points and grabbed 18 rebounds and Luke Ridnour added 22 points to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves over the Houston Rockets 100-91 on Saturday night.
Minnesota won for the fifth time in seven games to reach .500 (12-12).
Kyle Lowry had 24 points and 11 assists for Houston and Luis Scola also had 24 points, but Kevin Martin scored a season-low two points on 1-for-10 shooting.
It was only the second time this season Martin, who entered the game averaging 20.7 points, didn't score in double figures. It was his fewest point total since March of 2007, when he scored one point for Sacramento against Phoenix.
Even so, the Rockets pulled within three with five minutes to play. But Minnesota scored 10 of the next 14 points and led 98-89 when Ricky Rubio drove for a layup with 2:26 to effectively put the game out of reach.
Rubio had 13 points and 11 assists for Minnesota.
Things got ugly in the third quarter after Love hacked Scola to the ground as he tried to drive the lane. Replays showed Love stepped on Scola's face, knocking his head against the court, as he turned to head back up court.
The Rockets bench complained loudly and was hit with a technical foul on the next possession, and Scola was also assessed a technical about a minute later.
Houston kept its composure well enough to close the quarter on an 8-4 run to pull within nine to start the fourth.
NOTES: A night after scoring a career-high 27 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, Nikola Pekovic started for Darko Milicic, who sat out with a bruised left quadriceps. ... The two teams faced each other for the third time in less than two weeks. "It's a crazy schedule," Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. "They want us to vote on the reserves for the All-Star Game, I haven't even seen four or five of the teams" ... Asked if he saw Pekovic as a "27-and-10 guy" when he drafted him as Minnesota's basketball boss in 2008, Rockets coach Kevin McHale quipped: "You guys are unbelievable, you got him rated just below Wilt Chamberlain right now?"