Wolves Complete Season Sweep Of Cavaliers With 98-97 Win

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Wolves Get Rare Road Win In Cleveland, 98-97

(Sports Network) – Michael Beasley finished with 28 points and hit the go-ahead bucket late in regulation, as Minnesota recorded its second road win of the season with a 98-97 decision over the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena.

Luke Ridnour contributed 23 points and six assists, and Kevin Love provided 16 points and 18 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who snapped a seven-game skid and improved to 2-17 away from home.

Antawn Jamison scored a team-high 24 points but missed a potential game-winner at the buzzer for Cleveland, which has dropped 13 of its last 14 games. Anthony Parker added 21 points and seven assists in defeat.

Cleveland appeared to pull away early in the fourth, as J.J. Hickson’s layup capped a healthy run for an 88-74 lead with less than eight minutes to play.

Minnesota answered with a barrage of three-pointers a little later, hitting three straight from long distance to pull within 91-90 on a Ridnour three-ball with 3:50 showing.

The game remained a one-possession contest down the stretch, and two Love free throws with 24.3 seconds remaining gave the Timberwolves a 96-95 advantage.

At the other end, Jamison took Beasley off the dribble and made a driving floater with 10.6 to go. Beasley returned the favor, getting into the lane with a cross-over and finishing over Jamison with 6.9 left.

“It gives the guys a lot of confidence,” Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis said. “It’s a continual learning process for us. In the last sequence, we talked about driving to the open side and that’s where he was able to score, get to the basket and make his right-handed layup. Those are things he has to learn and grow with.”

Jamison then tried going to the same spot where he converted the possession before, but Beasley cut him off near the foul line, forcing an off-balanced attempt that rolled off the rim to end the game.

“This one stings a little bit more than almost, probably, any one this season,” Cavs coach Byron Scott said. “That one stung. We had it with three minutes left in the game. We really had the game won. Defensively, we allowed them to step into some threes. (We) just gave them too many easy shots and it ended up biting us in the butt at the end.”

It was a tale of two quarters in the first half. Cleveland started strong and led 28-17 after one frame, only to have Minnesota take the lead heading to the break, as Ridnour’s late three-pointer provided a 51-49 edge.

A closely-played third ended with the hosts holding a slim, 73-70, lead.

Game Notes

Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson missed the game because of the flu…Cleveland guard Mo Williams logged 17 points and 11 assists for his fifth straight double-double…The Timberwolves shot just 38.8 percent from the floor but made 20-of-22 free throws…The Cavs made just seven of their 13 attempts from the foul line.

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Timberwolves Try To Stop Road Slide In Cleveland

(Sports Network) – The road-weary Minnesota Timberwolves seek to end a seven- game slide when they make a stop in Cleveland tonight to take on the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Timberwolves are just 1-17 away from the Twin Cities this season and are coming off Wednesday’s 112-107 home loss versus the Utah Jazz. Kevin Love had 25 points and 19 rebounds, while Michael Beasley provided 24 points and 10 boards for Minnesota, which was coming off an 0-6 road trip.

“It’s easy to quit. A lot of teams that have been in this situation have quit. That’s the easy thing to do,” said Minnesota’s Martell Webster. “So it really shows you character that guys continue to do the things they did when we’re winning.”

Minnesota’s last win on the road was on Nov. 10 in Sacramento. It is winless in the past 12 contests as the guest. Wolves forward Darko Milicic (ankle/foot) is probable for Sunday, while guard Sebastian Telfair is questionable with a balky right foot.

Cleveland will begin a two-game homestand versus Minnesota and Orlando Sunday at the Q, and has dropped two straight and 12 of 13 games.

In Wednesday’s 98-84 loss at Atlanta, Antawn Jamison led the way with 23 points and Mo Williams had his fourth straight double-double with 18 points and 11 assists for the Cavaliers, who will try to work on their 5-8 home ledger.

“We ran into a little bit of a buzzsaw,” Cleveland head coach Byron Scott said of the Hawks. “We played pretty good defense and they just hit shots.”

Daniel Gibson finished with 12 points and has scored in double figures in nine of his last 10 games, averaging 14.7 points in that span. Jamison is averaging 17.4 points and 5.9 rebounds over his previous 11 games.

The Cavs are averaging only 13.0 turnovers per game, the fewest in the league.

Minnesota defeated Cleveland, 129-95, back on Dec. 4 this season at the Target Center to snap a nine-game skid in the series, as Love scored 20 of his 28 points in the first half and also pulled down 19 rebounds. The Cavs are 10-3 in the past 13 meetings between the teams.

The Timberwolves are winless in their last four games at Quicken Loans Arena.

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Timberwolves Get Hammered In Los Angeles, 113-90

(Sports Network) – Eric Gordon scored 21 of his season-high 36 points in the first half to help the Los Angeles Clippers earn a 113-90 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Blake Griffin finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists to record his 16th consecutive double-double. Ryan Gomes added a season-high 22 points and pulled down 10 boards for the Clippers, who have won three consecutive games for the first time this season.

Los Angeles shot 53 percent in the first two quarters, held a 68-58 lead at the break, and never trailed in the second half.

Michael Beasley posted 20 points to lead Minnesota, which has lost six in a row. Kevin Love added 12 points and 10 rebounds, but the Timberwolves were dominated near the basket. Los Angeles held a 56-33 rebounding margin and 62-28 advantage on points in the paint.

“We wanted to do a good job in the paint and we didn’t get it done tonight,” said Timberwolves head coach Kurt Rambis. “Our effort wasn’t there. Our focus wasn’t there to get the job done.”

Gordon scored 14 points in the first quarter while Griffin added 10, and the Clippers held just a 34-31 edge moving to the second.

“I just tried to get it going,” Gordon said. “I’ve struggled the last couple of days. It was our tempo tonight, we created things for ourselves.”

The teams traded the lead three times in a second quarter that was mostly close, but Los Angeles took control in the final 63 seconds. Baron Davis sank a running hook shot before Gomes dropped in a layup with 37.2 seconds remaining. After a Luke Ridnour miss, Davis drove for a layup to make it a 10- point game heading to intermission.

The Clippers didn’t let the Timberwolves get back in the game in the third quarter by making 10-of-16 shots in the period. Los Angeles led by as many as 21 before carrying a 94-79 advantage into the fourth. Minnesota never made a threatening run down the stretch.

Game Notes

Davis finished with 12 assists, eight points and five rebounds for the Clippers…Martell Webster added 18 points off the bench for Minnesota.

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Timberwolves Conclude Road Trip By Taking On Clippers

(Sports Network) – The road-weary Minnesota Timberwolves will close out a six- game trek tonight against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center.

Minnesota is a lowly 1-16 away from the Target Center this season and has lost the first five tests on the current road swing, including Saturday�s 115-113 setback in Denver. Kevin Love posted a career-high 43 points and pulled down 17 rebounds, while Michael Beasley added 17 points for Minnesota.

“It’s very frustrating, just because we are right there,” Love said. “We keep saying that, just can’t get to it yet. But the key word is yet. We will get there.”

The Wolves’ last four losses have come by single digits.

Minnesota center Darko Milicic is questionable for tonight because of a sprained right ankle. He did not play in the loss to the Nuggets and is averaging 9.6 points and 5.8 boards per contest.

Meanwhile, the Clippers have won two straight since a four-game slide and won the last two tests of a three-game road trip.

In a 100-99 triumph at Chicago on Saturday, rookie Blake Griffin knocked down the deciding free throw with 42.5 seconds remaining and posted his 15th straight double-double with 29 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who will begin a three-game homestand tonight versus the Timberwolves, Rockets and Suns.

LA is 5-10 at home this season.

Baron Davis scored 16 and dished out seven assists and Eric Gordon netted 15 points in a winning effort.

“All the wins are great,” said Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro. “Obviously this one is a little bit more special just because it’s Chicago. The credit goes to our players. It’s a back-to-back game for us, I thought they had great effort.”

Minnesota defeated the Clippers, 113-111, back on Nov. 17 this season in the Twin Cities, as Beasley hit the game-winning jumper with 2.3 seconds left. The Wolves are winless in their last two games at the Clippers.

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