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HOUSTON (AP) — Kevin Love set a Minnesota record with his 38th consecutive double-double, scoring 20 points and grabbing 14 rebounds in the Timberwolves’ 112-108 win over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.
Love passed Kevin Garnett (2006) for the team’s double-double record. Love’s streak is now the longest since Moses Malone had 44 in a row during the 1982-83 season with Philadelphia. Utah’s John Stockton also had a 37-game streak of double-doubles in 1989.
Wayne Ellington added 18 points for the Timberwolves, who snapped a 13-game losing streak to the Rockets dating to January 2007. Minnesota played without starters F Michael Beasley (sprained left ankle) and C Darko Milicic (strained left hip flexor).
Kevin Martin and Courtney Lee scored 23 points apiece for the Rockets, who were outrebounded 51-31.
Neither team led by more than six, and Ellington’s jumper with 2:21 left put Minnesota ahead 105-104. Hayes missed two free throws with 1:09 to go, and the Timberwolves rebounded.
Ellington swished a 3 from the wing with 54 seconds left, and the entire Minnesota bench jumped as the Rockets called timeout. Martin sank four free throws in the last minute, but Love swished a straight-on 3 with 36 seconds to go.
The Rockets got the ball back with 17 seconds remaining. Lee missed a baseline jumper, Love rebounded and made a free throw with 5 seconds left for the winning margin.
Houston went 7 for 28 from 3-point range.
The teams were tied at 19-all when Aaron Brooks entered with 3:08 left in the first quarter. Brooks apologized to general manager Daryl Morey and coach Rick Adelman for leaving the court in the fourth quarter of Saturday night’s win over Memphis because he was frustrated with his playing time. The team suspended him for Monday’s win in Denver.
Houston went 4 for 8 from 3-point range in the quarter and led 29-27. Love grabbed four of Minnesota’s 15 rebounds in the quarter.
The Rockets missed their first six 3-point attempts in the second quarter, and the Timberwolves moved ahead with a lineup of mostly reserves.
Wesley Johnson sank a 3-pointer in the last minute of the half to put the Wolves up 56-53 at the break.
Martin swished his second 3-pointer midway through the third quarter to put Houston up 70-66. The Rockets’ leading scorer has hit multiple 3s in 12 consecutive games.
Love pulled down his 10th rebound with about five minutes left in the third, but came out for a rest with 3:26 left, stuck on nine points.
Both teams shot well in the third quarter, and Houston took a 85-83 lead to the fourth.
Love returned with 9:22 left. He missed two shots, and the Rockets took a 95-94 lead. Love tipped in Ellington’s miss with 5:36 left to reach 11 points and the double-double.
NOTES: Minnesota coach Kurt Rambis said he couldn’t estimate how many games Beasley and Milicic would miss. “I don’t know of any timetable,” he said. … Martin passed 400 free throws made this season. He’s within reach of Moses Malone’s franchise record (630), set in 1981-82. … Scola has played in 300 consecutive regular-season games.
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