MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Ty Lawson scored 23 points, reserve Nate Robinson added 15 and the Denver Nuggets held off the Minnesota Timberwolves 117-110 on Wednesday night.
Kenneth Faried added 13 points and had three alley-oop dunks as Denver won for the seventh time in nine games after a horrible start.
Kevin Martin scored 29 for Minnesota and Ricky Rubio added 17 points and 10 assists. Nikola Pekovic had 21 points and Kevin Love finished with 19. All five Minnesota starters scored in double figures.
Minnesota’s bench was outscored 47-10 and was overmatched by Robinson and Denver’s high-octane reserves.
Ignited by three 3-pointers from Robinson, the Nuggets built a 15-point lead early in the second quarter. Denver stayed hot and shot 63 percent in the first half, taking a 64-55 lead into the locker room.
The Wolves hung around by hitting free throws — Martin finished 11 of 11 from the line — and cut Denver’s lead to three after Love’s dunk with 3:41 to play in the third.
After Denver built its lead back up to 11 in the fourth, Love made a 3-pointer to cap a 10-0 run and pull the Wolves to within one with 3:58 to play.
But Minnesota couldn’t come up with a defensive stop to finish the rally and allowed Denver to regain control after three straight dunks.
The Wolves wouldn’t go away, though, and pulled within three after a dunk by Corey Brewer with 1:13 to play.
Love missed a 3 that would have tied it on Minnesota’s next possession and Lawson swished four free throws in the final minute to beat the Wolves back one last time.
The Nuggets have won 23 of the team’s last 27 meetings.
Minnesota didn’t have any fast-break points in the first half, but came up with 15 during its second-half comeback.
Denver took advantage of Minnesota’s 17 turnovers to score 25 points. The Nuggets also hit 8 of 16 3-point attempts.
The Nuggets’ 117 points tied a season high set in their win over Minnesota on Nov. 15.
NOTES: Luc Mbah a Moute, acquired Tuesday for former No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams, dressed but did not play for Minnesota. … Denver’s 64 points were its second-highest first-half total this season. … Denver has won 11 of the last 13 at Target Center.
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