National Basketball Association
Minnesota 108, Atlanta 103
When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Timberwolves 108, Hawks 103:
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
#36 David Jones, #61 Courtney Kirkland, #72 J.T. Orr
Nikola Pekovic fought through a hip strain to collect 25 points and 18 rebounds as Minnesota jumped out early and held off visiting Atlanta.
Andrei Kirilenko added 21 points, Derrick Williams had 17 off the bench and Ricky Rubio returned from a four-game absence to hand out eight assists for the Timberwolves, who were playing their second straight game without Kevin Love (fractured hand).
Dante Cunningham, who started in Love’s spot, hit a long jumper with 15 seconds left to push the lead out to 106-103 and then picked off Josh Smith’s errant pass and found Luke Ridnour for the clinching free throws.
Minnesota held an 85-71 lead at the start of the fourth quarter before the Hawks began to get back into the game. Lou Williams scored seven points and Zaza Pachulia added four in a 17-7 burst that chopped it to 92-88 with 6:15 to play.
Al Horford’s short jumper with 36 seconds left cut the deficit to 104-103 before Cunningham stepped up. Smith finished with 21 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists while Williams added 21 points and eight assists for Atlanta.GAME NOTEBOOK:
The Timberwolves went 8-for-15 from 3-point range, including a pair by Kirilenko late in the fourth quarter that helped keep them in the lead. … Rubio did not record a field goal attempt in 19 minutes off the bench but went 4-of-6 from the free throw line. … The Hawks have lost a season-high three straight games.
Top Game Performances
Josh Smith 21
Nikola Pekovic 25
Louis Williams 8
Ricky Rubio 8
Josh Smith 13
Nikola Pekovic 18
Louis Williams 8
||Free Throws Made
Nikola Pekovic 7
Al Horford 2
Ricky Rubio 4
John Jenkins 2
Alexey Shved 2
Team Stats Summary
Minnesota will play their next game on the road against Oklahoma City. The Timberwolves have a W/L % of .438 after a win and .600 after a loss.
Atlanta will play their next game on the road against Cleveland. The Hawks have a W/L % of .600 after a win and .615 after a loss.