Lowly Timberwolves Control Kings In 112-96 Win

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Kevin Love put up 20 points and 16 rebounds, his fifth straight double-double and seventh in nine games since returning from a broken left hand, to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves past the Sacramento Kings 112-96 Friday night.

Corey Brewer scored 20 points on 9 for 16 shooting, and the Wolves (5-22) were in front from start to finish for the first time this season, taking advantage of a sloppy, sluggish regression by the Kings, who fell to an NBA-worst 1-11 on the road.

They beat Minnesota in Sacramento by 20 points last Saturday.

Love has 73 rebounds in his last five games, giving the Wolves a rugged, bullish presence on the glass they sorely missed while he was out. Brewer came within two points of his career high.

Damien Wilkins and Brewer helped hold rookie Tyreke Evans, one of only four NBA players currently averaging better than 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, to a quiet 10 points on a 4 for 12 shooting night. That was his lowest scoring total since a 3-point game against Memphis on Nov. 2. Evans has reached double digits in all but three games this season.

After beating the Utah Jazz in their imposing arena to start their week, the Wolves wilted on Wednesday in a 25-point home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers that prompted mellow head coach Kurt Rambis to bemoan the "abysmal" effort. This was anything but, while the Wolves won for the first time in seven games this season when they led at halftime.

Jonny Flynn picked up two early fouls and sat for most of the first half, yielding to Ramon Sessions. But Flynn came back to provide a spark in the third quarter and finished with 12 points on 5 for 8 shooting.

The Kings, despite missing star Kevin Martin for most of the way, have been one of the league's mild surprises -- starting two rookies and two second-year guys for the last two games with rookie Omri Casspi joining the starting five. This was not one of their finer nights.

Casspi had 21 points and Beno Udrih had 12 of his 18 points in the final 4 minutes of the third quarter for the Kings, who were held under 100 points for only the third time in the last 15 games. Udrih beat the buzzer at the end of the third with a 3-point swish just in front of the half-court line, but that was about the only highlight for the visitors.

They let the Wolves match their season high in scoring and shot 2 for 17 from 3-point range in the first half.

Brewer and Love had most of the highlights for Minnesota.

-Brewer had two powerful dunks, including a steal he turned into an uncontested, fast-break tomahawk for a 64-53 lead in the third.

-Brewer threw a bounce pass inside to Love, who turned and was fouled on a layup for a three-point play and 71-57 edge. Brewer whirled and pumped his arm in celebration.

-Love got a steal in the fourth to start an end-to-end layup out of a timeout that lifted the Wolves to a 104-89 advantage.

Game notes
Timberwolves F Ryan Gomes missed his third straight game with a sprained left ankle that is expected to keep him out for at least another week, the first time he's had to sit out in three seasons with Minnesota since arriving in the Kevin Garnett trade. He said he's getting better, running, jumping and sprinting but still unable to properly cut and plant. ... A couple of Casspi fans stood and waved Israel's flag each time the rookie scored.