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NBA Roundup: Love, Pekovic lead T'Wolves over Rockets 111-98

Posted: February 18, 2012 - 1:14am
Minnesota Timberwolves' Nikola Pekovic, rear, steals the ball from Houston Rockets' Kyle Lowry (7) during the fourth quarter of Friday's game in Houston. The Timberwolves defeated the Rockets, 111-98.   David J. Phillip
David J. Phillip
Minnesota Timberwolves' Nikola Pekovic, rear, steals the ball from Houston Rockets' Kyle Lowry (7) during the fourth quarter of Friday's game in Houston. The Timberwolves defeated the Rockets, 111-98.

HOUSTON — Kevin Love scored 33 points, including eight straight during a key fourth-quarter stretch, and Nikola Pekovic added a career-high 30 to give the Minnesota Timberwolves a 111-98 win over the Houston Rockets on Friday night.

Love’s fourth 30-point outing in the last five games helped the Timberwolves improve to 3-1 against Houston this season.

A big run by Houston at the beginning of the fourth cut Minnesota’s lead from 14 to one before Love took over. He scored eight points in a row, fueled by a pair of 3-pointers, to push Minnesota’s lead to 103-94 with 3 minutes left. The Rockets never threatened again.

Love also had 17 rebounds for his 27th double-double of the season, most in the NBA.

Bobcats 98, Raptors 91

TORONTO — Reggie Williams scored a season-high 22 points to help the Charlotte Bobcats snap a 16-game losing streak by beating the Toronto Raptors.

D.J. Augustin had 11 points and 10 assists, Kemba Walker scored 14 points and fellow rookie Bismack Biyombo had a career-high 13 rebounds as the Bobcats won for the first time since beating Golden State 112-100 on Jan. 14. Corey Maggette added 16 points as Charlotte avoided becoming the 28th team in NBA history to drop at least 17 straight games.

All of Williams’ points came in the first three quarters. He did not play in the fourth.

Magic 94, Bucks 85

ORLANDO, Fla. — Dwight Howard scored 26 points and grabbed 20 rebounds as the Orlando Magic rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Milwaukee Bucks.

It was Howard’s seventh 20-point, 20-rebound game of the season.

Ryan Anderson added 23 points, including four 3-pointers and Hedo Turkoglu had 14 points and seven assists.

The Magic have won four straight overall and 12 in a row at home against the Bucks.

Carlos Delfino led the Bucks with 16 points and Ersan Ilyasova added 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Heat 111, Cavaliers 87

CLEVELAND — LeBron James scored 28 in his third game back to Cleveland as a visitor, Dwyane Wade added 22 and the Miami Heat won their fifth straight — all on the road — by destroying the Cavaliers.

James, booed loudly every time he touched the ball by fans who haven’t forgiven him for leaving two years ago, scored 16 in the third quarter when the Heat opened a 34-point lead. James added four dunks, three 3-pointers, five rebounds, five assists and rested the entire fourth quarter.

Miami has won eight of nine, and went 5-1 on its trip, winning by an average of 18.8 points.

Pistons 114, Kings 108

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Rodney Stuckey scored a season-high 36 points and rookie Brandon Knight added 23 points and 10 assists as the Detroit Pistons rallied to beat the Sacramento Kings.

Tayshaun Prince finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Stuckey was 12 for 20 from the floor and 11 for 12 from the free-throw line. Detroit has now won six of its last eight games after a 4-20 start.

DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 26 points and 15 rebounds, while Marcus Thornton added 24.

The Kings threatened to pull away several times in the first three quarters, but couldn’t stop Stuckey. His pair of free throws at the end of the third gave him 31 points and pulled Detroit within 88-86.

Thunder 110

Warriors 87

OKLAHOMA CITY — James Harden scored 25 points, Kevin Durant added 23 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder completed a season sweep of the Golden State Warriors.

Russell Westbrook scored 18 points for Oklahoma City, but the All-Star point guard left the game with 1:13 left in the third quarter with what the team said was a sprained right ankle. He didn’t return.

But the Thunder improved to 23-7, the best record in the Western Conference, with their third win over the Warriors in 22 days.

Grizzlies 103

Nuggets 102

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Dante Cunningham tipped in Rudy Gay’s miss with less than a second left to lift Memphis over Denver.

Andre Miller’s inbounds pass with 0.2 seconds left was batted away at the rim, allowing Memphis to win its third straight despite blowing a 23-point second-half lead.

Gay had 20 points to lead six Grizzlies players in double figures. O.J. Mayo finished with 17, while Mike Conley and Marc Gasol scored 16 apiece. Gasol also grabbed 14 rebounds and handed out eight assists. Marreesse Speights added 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Hornets 89, Knicks 85

NEW YORK — The Lin-ning streak is over. And Jeremy Lin’s sloppiness was one of the problems.

Lin committed nine turnovers, tied for the most in the NBA this season, and the New York Knicks had their seven-game winning streak stopped with a loss to the New Orleans Hornets.

Lin scored 26 points, but his turnovers nearly doubled his five assists and the Knicks lost for the first time since Linsanity began, falling back below .500 at 15-16 heading into a matchup with the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.

Trevor Ariza scored 25 points for the Hornets, who have won three in a row after a 4-23 start. Marco Belinelli added 17.

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