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Originally published December 18, 2013 at 9:51 PM | Page modified December 18, 2013 at 10:47 PM

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Love leads Timberwolves to win over Portland

Kevin Love made an emphatic case for the title of the NBA’s best power forward.


The Associated Press

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MINNEAPOLIS — Kevin Love made an emphatic case for the title of the NBA’s best power forward.

Love had 29 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists to outshine LaMarcus Aldridge in the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 120-109 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.

Nikola Pekovic had 30 points and nine rebounds and Kevin Martin scored 22 for the Timberwolves, who led by 32 in the second quarter and held off a charge in the second half from the Blazers.

Damian Lillard had 36 points, six assists and six rebounds and Aldridge had 15 points and 14 boards for the weary Trail Blazers, who lost for the first time in six games. It was just their fifth loss of the season in 27 games and came at the end of a four-game trip.

The Timberwolves outscored Portland 72-34 in the paint and shot 49.5 percent from the field.

Aldridge, one of the early leaders in the MVP race, made just 7 of 22 shots.

The Blazers have been the most surprising team of this young season, and they stormed into Target Center fresh off two straight heart-pounding victories on last-second shots by Lillard that gave them the best record in the NBA. But playing their fourth road game in five nights, their legs were heavy, their shots where shaky and the Wolves pounced.

MIAMI — Dwyane Wade scored 32 points, Ray Allen hit a go-ahead three-pointer with just under a minute left and the Miami Heat erased a 15-point deficit in the second half to beat the Indiana Pacers 97-94.

LeBron James scored 24 on a bad left ankle for the Heat, which closed within a game of the Eastern Conference-leading Pacers. Chris Bosh added 15 points for Miami, including a three that tied it late in the fourth.

James set up Allen for the three that put Miami in front for good with 59.5 seconds left, capping a 10-0 run.

Paul George scored 25 points but missed a three-pointer that would have tied it with four seconds left. David West had 23 and Lance Stephenson added 13 for the Pacers, who have dropped two straight.

Down by one, the Pacers saw their best chance go awry when George Hill turned the ball over on a bad pass with 14 seconds left. Allen made two free throws with 10.3 seconds remaining to put Miami up by three, and that capped a big comeback win for the two-time defending NBA champions.

Notes

• Former Husky Isaiah Thomas scored 20 points, but the visiting Sacramento Kings lost 124-107 to the Atlanta Hawks.

• Washington Wizards guard Glen Rice had surgery on a broken right wrist and will be sidelined three to six weeks.



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