dished a pass to Seguin

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DENVER -- Minnesota built up a big advantage at the free throw line throughout the game, and it was just enough to hold off Denvers furious rally.
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. Kevin Love scored 33 points and tied a season
high with 19 rebounds for his NBA-best 50th double-double this season, and the
Timberwolves withstood Denvers 45-point fourth quarter to beat the skidding
Nuggets 132-128 on Monday night for their third win in a row. Kevin Martin added
22 points for the Timberwolves, including four clutch free throws in the final
11.7 seconds. Martin made 16 of 17 foul shots, helping Minnesota rack up NBA
season highs in attempts (64) and makes (52) from the line. Denver, meanwhile,
went 16 of 25 (64 per cent). "Sixty-four free throws is a lot of free throws,"
Love said. "It was unbelievable. There were a lot of things that went on in that
game that were just nuts, particularly the free throw situation and the
3-pointers at the end. K-Mart made some great plays, hit some big free throws,
and that ultimately gave us separation." Love did his part as well, topping 30
points for the 11th time in his last 14 starts, including 11 of 13 from the free
throw line to help Minnesota wrap up a 4-1 trip out west. "Thats major," Martin
said of Minnesotas successful road swing. "Tonight was a must-win for us. You
dont have too many must-wins in the beginning of March, but we understand where
were at right now and guys had the mindset that we had to do anything we had to
do to get the win." The Nuggets got a huge boost from the return of Ty Lawson,
who scored a season-high 31 points with 11 assists in his first game since
breaking a rib Feb. 8 at Detroit. But it wasnt enough to reverse their sagging
fortunes. Denver lost its sixth straight and has dropped 11 of 12 overall. "You
give a team 52 points at the free throw line and another 54 points in the paint,
it is going to be tough to beat them," Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said. Trailing
by 22 after a layup by Nikola Pekovic midway through the third quarter, the
Nuggets responded with a 13-2 run that Randy Foye finished with a 3-pointer to
pull to 85-74 with 4:10 remaining in the period. Minnesota, though, got its
transition game going, getting successive breakaway baskets by Corey Brewer and
a driving dunk from Dante Cunningham to take a 98-83 lead into the fourth. Just
3 minutes later, the Timberwolves were in front by 20 on a 20-foot jumper by
Shabazz Muhammad. Denver made another push, pulling to 117-107 on Aaron Brooks
3-pointer with 3:25 left and then cutting it to 128-125 on Wilson Chandlers 3
with 12.6 seconds left. After Martin was fouled and made a pair of free throws,
Evan Fournier hit another 3 with 7.2 seconds remaining to bring Denver to
130-128. Martin was fouled and again made both free throws, securing the win for
the Timberwolves after Chandlers 3-point try in the final seconds hit the rim
and bounced away -- though Minnesota was outscored 45-34 in the final period.
"They were making everything, banking stuff in," Brewer said. "But its all about
getting the win. Nights like that, you have to hold on. "For us to go 4-1 on the
road trip means a lot. Now we get to go home, four games at home, and we need
all four games at home." The Timberwolves outscored the Nuggets 40-25 in the
first quarter and led 66-49 at halftime. Chandler had a pair of baskets, cutting
Minnesotas lead to 58-47, but the Timberwolves scored eight of 10 points in the
last 2:18 of the second to rebuild their lead. "We gave up too many points in
the first quarter," Lawson said. "When youre playing uphill like that, its tough
to come back and actually get the win. We got it down to two, but they just hit
their free throws at the end." NOTES: Timberwolves C Ronny Turiaf missed his
fifth game because of a bone bruise on his right knee. ... Minnesota improved to
27-14 when scoring more than 100 points. ... Denver lost to Minnesota at the
Pepsi Center for just the fourth time in 18 games since the start of the 2005-06
season. ... Love has scored 30 or more points a team-record 21 times this
season. ... Minnesotas point total represented a season high. ... Lawsons
previous season high was 29 points against Oklahoma City on Nov. 18.
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.Y. -- Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and
Mark McGwire will have less time to remain eligible for the Hall of Fame ballot
under changes made Saturday.
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.C. -- Martin Kaymer set a U.
. Marie rink got back in the win column at the Olympic mens curling tournament
with a 7-4 win over the host Russian squad on Wednesday.Dallas, TX
( - Shawn Horcoff scored the deciding goal late in the second
period as the Dallas Stars held off a late New Jersey push for a 4-3 victory on
Saturday. Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza each finished with a goal and an assist,
Trevor Daley also scored and Antoine Roussel supplied two helpers for the Stars,
who entered the game with five losses in their previous six games. Kari Lehtonen
stopped 28-of-31 shots in the win. Jon Merrill, Eric Gelinas and Scott Gomez all
lit the lamp for New Jersey, which dropped its third straight game. We battled
hard tonight, but we just came up short, Devils forward Michael Ryder said. Weve
got to find ways to win. Cory Schneider allowed four goals on 33 shots over the
first two periods and Keith Kinkaid made three saves in relief during the third.
Dallas surged ahead with two quick goals late in the second period. Daleys heavy
slap shot from the right circle put Dallas in front with 5:05 left in the second
and Horcoff tapped home Vernon Fiddlers pass off the rush 1:57 later for a 4-2
lead. The Devils pulled Kinkaid with under two minutes to play. stepped up and
fired a shot from the right circle. Gomez was there to tap in the rebound with
1:07 remaining. Kiinkaid was taken off the ice again in favor of an extra
attacker, but the Devils were unable to net the equalizer.
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. Erik Cole entered the zone and dished a pass to
Seguin, who blasted a one- timer from the slot for the games opening marker with
5:21 to play in the first period. Spezza missed on his initial wrap-around
attempt, but stayed with the puck and shot it over the pad of Schneider for a
2-0 lead with three minutes remaining in the first. After Jamie Benn went off
for high-sticking 4:09 into the second, the Devils converted on the power play
as Merrills wrister cut the deficit in half 17 seconds into the man-advantage.
Gelinas shot from the right point bounced off a defender and into the net for a
tie game at 7:46 of the second. Game Notes Devils forward Jaromir Jagr tied
Steve Yzerman for seventh on the NHLs all- time assists list with 1,063 ...
Stars forward Ryan Garbutt served the first of his three-game suspension for
slew-footing Winnipegs Dustin Byfuglien on Tuesday ... New Jersey forward
Dainius Zubrus missed a second straight game with a left leg laceration ... The
Devils are 3-7-3 against the Western Conference this season.
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Posted 21 Apr 2017

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