Balanced Timberwolves top Pistons

Auburn Hills, MI ( – Nikola Pekovic scored 29 points to lead
six Timberwolves in double figures to help Minnesota hold off the Detroit
Pistons 112-101 on Sunday.

Kevin Martin netted 24 points, Andrew Wiggins tallied 18, eight rebounds and
five assists and Thaddeus Young added 16 points for the Timberwolves, who
have won three in a row for the first time this season.

Mo Williams and Zach LaVine scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, in the

“I think defensively, we did a lot of good things,” said Williams. “We stuck
to the game plan, and everybody was focused.”

Detroit lost to Minnesota for a 10th straight time despite getting 20 points
and eight assists from D.J. Augustin. Andre Drummond totaled 17 points with 14
rebounds, while Greg Monroe, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Anthony Tolliver
each scored 15.

The Pistons never led, but they did not let Minnesota run away with the game
in the second half. Down 19 in the third quarter, Detroit tightened up its
defense and held Minnesota to 2-of-11 shooting over the last seven minutes of
the third quarter. The Pistons scored eight points off four Timberwolves
turnovers in that span, and Minnesota led just 81-73 after three.

The lead was down to four points twice early in the final period, but
Minnesota was able to rebuild its advantage. With five minutes to play, the
Pistons were down nine when coach Stan Van Gundy was hit with a technical foul
after a call on Monroe.

Martin hit the technical free throw and that started a 7-0 run that restored a
comfortable lead. Detroit would not get closer than eight points the rest of
the way.

“They’re way better than their record shows,” said Monroe. “We have to come
out and play better.”

Neither team managed many stops in the first quarter, but Minnesota’s defense
did tighten up at the end to lead 32-24 after 12 minutes.

Each team continued its efficient shooting in the second quarter, but Detroit
could not get closer than five points. In the final minute, Martin’s jumper
and Williams’ three free throws gave the Timberwolves a 61-51 lead heading
into the break.

Game Notes

Led by Williams’ nine assists, the Timberwolves had 26 assists on 39 made
shots … Minnesota was 29-of-34 from the charity stripe … Detroit was 10-
of-31 from 3-point range but just 1-for-15 in the second half … Minnesota
was without guard Ricky Rubio because he has not been cleared to play in back-
to-back games.