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Timberwolves shred Cavs in scoring frenzy

Updated: 2013-11-15 07:43
By Associated Press in Minneapolis ( China Daily)

When Kevin Martin had to be scratched about 30 minutes before tipoff because of an illness, the Minnesota Timberwolves were in desperate need of another scorer to fill in.

Corey Brewer has done everything else in his short time back in Minnesota, so why not him?

Brewer scored 27 points, Kevin Love had 33 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and the Timberwolves beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 124-95 on Wednesday night.

"I checked to see if it (said) Kevin Martin on the back," Ricky Rubio said of Brewer. "He was wearing his jersey or something. He was making shots and he was being Corey too, running on the fast break. He's been great for us."

 Timberwolves shred Cavs in scoring frenzy

Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love goes up for a shot as Cleveland Cavaliers' Tristan Thompson defends in the first quarter of Wednesday's game in Minneapolis. Love scored 33 points and had eight rebounds and six assists as the T-Wolves overwhelmed the Cavaliers 124-95. Jim Mone / Associated Press

Rubio had a career-high 16 assists to go with 16 points, six rebounds and three steals, and the Timberwolves outscored Cleveland 29-6 in transition points to run the Cavaliers out of the building.

Martin is the team's second-leading scorer, averaging 24.6 points and shooting 55.8 percent on threes.

Normally a reluctant shooter who feasts on easy opportunities on the break, Brewer morphed into an aggressive scorer in the first half to ease any concerns about Martin's absence.

Brewer scored the first nine points for Minnesota and 12 in the first quarter to get the Wolves out quickly.

He hit all five of his three-pointers and helped lock down Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters at the other end. His energy sparked a dominant first half.

The Wolves outscored the Cavs 22-0 on the fast break and scored 16 points off seven turnovers to rack up 70 points in the first 24 minutes.

"It was fun tonight," Brewer said. "We were passing the ball. Ricky had a great night. Kevin Love had a great night. The game's easy when you're passing the ball."

Irving scored 20 points on 8-for-17 shooting and survived a nasty collision in the first quarter for the Cavaliers. Anderson Varejao had 13 points and five rebounds starting for Andrew Bynum, who missed the game for personal reasons.

"Things that we are not doing out there, things that need to be addressed within the locker room doors that are going to continue to be addressed," Irving said. "We just have to do better next time."

The Wolves led by as many as 39 points, allowing their starters to sit the entire fourth quarter and get some much-needed rest during a grueling start to the schedule.

The Cavaliers were caught flat-footed. They were outrebounded 49-37, outscored in the paint 56-32 and surrendered 100 points before there were 10 minutes gone in the third quarter.

One game after coach Mike Brown surprised everyone by inserting Bynum into the starting lineup, the Cavs were without their center while he tended to a family matter.

Bynum is expected to miss two games and the Cavs said it had nothing to do with his bothersome knees or his recent comment about having considered retirement. Bynum is expected to return on Saturday against Washington.

Irving came into the game shooting just 37.7 percent while he gets adjusted to a new system in Brown's first season.

"Obviously, after a performance like that, you're concerned," Brown said. "But I thought we fought. We are nine games in and we are going to keep going forward."

(China Daily 11/15/2013 page23)

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