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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.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.