MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Wolves start 2014 by beating New Orleans
MINNEAPOLIS (SportsNetwork.com) - Nikola Pekovic led seven players in double figures with 22 points as the Minnesota Timberwolves dispatched the New Orleans Pelicans with a 124-112 win Wednesday night.
Kevin Love scored 21 points, Kevin Martin added 20, while Jose Juan Barea and Ricky Rubio netted 17 and 14, respectively, for Minnesota, which has won three straight and four of the last five games against New Orleans. Rubio also had nine assists and eight rebounds.
Dante Cunningham and Alexey Shved deposited 10 apiece in the win.
"It was a sustained effort from the guys tonight," said Minnesota head coach Rick Adelman. "Our group has a tendency to relax when we get a big lead, but they kept playing hard tonight."
Ryan Anderson paced all scorers with 25 points on just 2-of-8 shooting from deep for the Pelicans, who have lost two of three. Jrue Holiday finished with 19 points and five assists, while Anthony Davis scored 13 points to go along with four blocks.
"The way we've been playing in practice I thought we'd be ready for some of the advanced schemes on defense, but we weren't and that's on me," said New Orleans head coach Monty Williams.
Cunningham hit a jumper to give Minnesota a 42-32 lead at the 8:09 mark of the second. However, an Eric Gordon layup and Anderson 3 cut the deficit in half with 7 1/2 to go.
The Wolves ended the first half on a 6-0 sprint after a three-point play from Luc Mbah a Moute and a trey from Rubio gave the hosts a 61-47 lead at the break.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers open Big Ten play tonight against the Michigan Wolverines at Williams Arena. The Golden Gophers have won six straight following Saturday's 65-44 rout of Texas A&M-CC. The Gophers are now 11-and-2 on the year. The Wolverines are 8-and-4. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.
The U-S Olympic women's hockey team roster announced today in Ann Arbor, Michigan includes five players with Minnesota ties -- Gigi Marvin from Warroad, Anne Schleper from Saint Cloud and Lee Stecklein from Roseville, plus Amanda Kessel and Megan Bozek who are current or former Gophers along with the other three. The team is training in the Boston area and opens the Olympic tournament February 8th against Finland.