Shved, Love Lead Wolves Over Bucks 95-85
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) —Kevin Love was sick. Ricky Rubio, Chase Budinger and Brandon Roy were all out with injuries and the rest of the Minnesota Timberwolves couldn’t buy a bucket for most of the game.
So coach Rick Adelman turned to Alexey Shved, the unflappable Russian rookie who is quickly emerging as the team’s closer. Just as he did for Russia in the Olympics, the versatile guard came through to save the Timberwolves.
Shved scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter and Love overcame a nasty stomach bug to collect 15 points and 14 rebounds in Minnesota’s 95-85 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night.
Shved hit three of his four shots in the final quarter, grabbed two steals and had two key assists to help the Timberwolves to a much-needed victory heading into a three-day break.
Nikola Pekovic had 14 points and tied a career high with 16 rebounds, and J.J. Barea added 15 points and five assists for the Wolves, who are getting star guard Ricky Rubio back at practice this weekend for the first time since he tore an ACL last March.
Larry Sanders had a career-high 10 blocks for the Bucks — tying a franchise record set by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1973 — to go with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Brandon Jennings had 18 points and six boards for the Bucks, who lost backup point guard Beno Udrih to an injured right ankle in the fourth quarter. X-rays were negative and the team said he will be re-evaluated on Saturday.
The Bucks shot 36.6 percent, including 5 for 18 on 3-pointers, in losing for the fifth time in six games.
Love was a game-time decision, but was almost forced to gut it out given the Wolves’ long list of injuries. He missed 13 of his first 17 shots and was clearly laboring throughout the game. He was able to dig deep enough for a key putback during an 11-0 run in the fourth quarter that put Minnesota in control for good, and Shved really did the rest.
After the Wolves managed just 11 points in a dreadful third quarter, Shved scored the team’s first seven points of the fourth. He also hit Luke Ridnour with a beautiful cross-court feed for a jumper and drilled a deep 3 with the shot clock winding down that put the game out of reach with 1:15 to play.
Andrei Kirilenko missed his second straight game with back spasms while guard Malcolm Lee was out with a sore left groin. Lee was thrust into the starting rotation the past eight games due to injuries to Roy and Budinger.
J.J. Barea started in Lee’s place, but the Wolves were able to stack up a little better against the smaller Bucks backcourt of Monta Ellis and Jennings. The super-quick duo has struggled in the efficiency department for much of the season, and that again was the case in Minnesota. Ellis was 8 for 22 while Jennings went 6 for 19.
Ellis had 18 points and John Henson had 10 points and seven boards.
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