MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Wolves rout Atlanta; Wild lose at home
MINNEAPOLIS -- (SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Love and Gorgui Dieng both posted double-doubles and the Minnesota Timberwolves pulled away for a 107-83 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday to snap a three-game losing streak.
The Timberwolves won for just the second time in their last 15 games against the Hawks.
Love had 14 points and 12 rebounds and Dieng scored 15 with 15 boards to lead a well-rounded Minnesota offense that shot 50 percent overall and went 9-of-22 from 3-point range.
Corey Brewer and Kevin Martin each scored 18 points, Chase Budinger had 12 off the bench and Ricky Rubio dished out 10 assists in the win.
"I thought we responded pretty well, especially in the second half," said Minnesota coach Rick Adelman. "Both teams struggled the first half in scoring; they did especially. But overall, I thought it was a good effort."
Mike Scott had 15 points to lead the Hawks, who have lost four in a row on the heels of a five-game winning streak. Paul Millsap chipped in 12 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.
"I don't think we played well. Turnovers, missed shots, all those things are examples of where we didn't play to the standards that we expect," said Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer.
The Hawks remain in playoff contention despite going just 6-18 over their last 24 games since a 120-113 victory over the Timberwolves on Feb. 1.
That win moved them to 25-21. Wednesday's loss dropped them to 31-39, which is still good for No. 8 in the Eastern Conference. In the Western Conference, it would place them four games behind No. 10 Minnesota.
Martin scored twice around a Love 3-pointer in a 7-0 Timberwolves burst in the third quarter that stretched their lead to 10.
It climbed to 17 points at the end of a 14-4 run sparked by Martin's three and was 75-61 going into the fourth quarter.
The Hawks were never closer than 14 points after that and the Timberwolves led by as many as 28.
Earlier, the Timberwolves led 20-19 after the first quarter and by as many as 11 in the second after an 8-0 run. They were up 48-41 at halftime.
ST. PAUL -- (SportsNetwork.com) - David Booth scored two goals, Eddie Lack made 29 saves and the Vancouver Canucks continued their playoff push with a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild.
The Canucks, who have won three straight games for the first time since Dec. 20-29, climbed to within four points of Phoenix for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
"We're breathing. That's the most important thing and found a way tonight," said Canucks head coach John Tortorella
Vancouver played Wednesday without captain Henrik Sedin. The forward didn't accompany the team on its two-game road trip that ends Thursday in Denver, and is listed as day-to-day with a left knee injury suffered in Sunday's win against Buffalo.
The Wild remain three points ahead of the Coyotes for the top wild-card spot, but have hit a rough patch. Minnesota has dropped three straight at Xcel Energy Center and eight of its last 11 games overall.
Darcy Kuemper allowed three goals on 12 shots in two periods before being replaced by Ilya Bryzgalov, who stopped 5-of-7 shots in the third period.
"I'm not saying that we can't be any better between the pipes, but at the same time, there are some quality chances that we're giving up," said Wild head coach Mike Yeo.
Booth opened the scoring with 4:21 remaining in the first period, blazing down the right wing and using Wild defenseman Jonathon Blum as a screen. Booth flew into the Minnesota zone after retrieving a puck he chipped past one Minnesota player and snapped a shot between Blum's legs that beat Kuemper.
The Wild's Charlie Coyle netted the equalizer less than two minutes later, extending his goal streak to three games. Mikko Koivu flipped the puck off the glass and it bounced fortuitously to Coyle, who skated to the top of the left circle before firing a shot past Lack's glove with 2:29 left in the first.
Booth put the Canucks up 2-1 at 11:57 of the second period. Minnesota defenseman Jared Spurgeon whiffed on a pass in his own zone and the turnover led to Booth beating Kuemper on a wrister from the slot.
The Wild came close to tying things up on a power play. A puck got behind Lack, but Vancouver defenseman Alexander Edler swept it off the goal line to preserve the lead.
Zack Kassian outmuscled Coyle to gain possession of the puck after a faceoff in the Minnesota zone and scored on a turnaround shot from the left circle, giving Vancouver a 3-1 lead with 56.1 seconds left in the second.
Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler, who each recently returned from injury, scored 49 seconds apart to make it 5-1 in the third period. Sedin tipped in Dan Hamhuis' point shot for his first goal in 24 games played at 11:12, then Kesler converted on a power play with a backhander at 12:01.
Nino Niederreiter scored Minnesota's second goal 24 seconds later, one-timing a feed from Erik Haula.