Love's first triple-double fuels Wolves past Jazz
Salt Lake City, UT (SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Love recorded his first career triple-double with 37 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists in Minnesota's 121-104 domination of the Utah Jazz.
Love, who had 42 points and 16 rebounds in a win against Indiana on Wednesday, made 6-of-10 3-point shots against the Jazz. Love had his fourth straight 30-plus point game, equaling Kevin Garnett's franchise record. Love extended his 25-plus point/10-plus rebound string to nine games, which is the longest streak since Karl Malone had 10 of those games during the 1991-92 season.
"It just shows, at least for this year and through my first six years in the league, how my game has progressed," Love said. "Being able to find different guys, I think it's a product of these guys being out, we have to step out different ways."
Ricky Rubio added 15 points and seven assists, while Chase Budinger and Corey Brewer both scored 13 in Minnesota's third straight win, which equals a season-best.
Enes Kanter had a career-high 25 points to pace Utah. The Jazz, who lost for the third consecutive time, received 16 points from Trey Burke, 15 from Alec Burks and 14 from Richard Jefferson.
The Timberwolves didn't trail after finishing a 10-2 run in the opening quarter. Love's jumper capped the rally for a 14-9 lead at the midway point. The visitors claimed a 26-21 lead after the first quarter.
The Jazz managed to tie the contest three times in the second quarter, Minnesota was able to assume control before the break. Rubio's layup gave the Timberwolves the lead for good at 43-41 with 3:32 left. Budinger's 3-pointer widened the margin to 54-45, and Minnesota went to the break with a 59-49 cushion.
Love scored 22 of Minnesota's 35 third-quarter points. He was 5-of-7 from long distance in the period, while the Jazz as a team failed on all five of their shots from beyond the arc. The result was the Timberwolves gaining a 94-81 lead going to the fourth.
Minnesota led by as many as 23 in the last quarter.
"They are one of the better teams in the league on smart transition basketball. We talked about it. We just didn't execute it very well," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "We were still looking a few times. You know they run on makes and misses. Kevin Love is tremendous at getting the ball out quick and throwing the advance pass."
Minnesota has won all three meeting this season by a combined 58 points ... Dante Cunningham had 11 points for the Timberwolves ... Minnesota held a 49-34 rebounding advantage ... Nikola Pekovic (ankle) and Kevin Martin (finger) missed the game for the Timberwolves.