Kevin Love is used to carrying the beat-up Minnesota Timberwolves lately. This time, he finally had some help when he sat down to take a rest.
Love had 42 points and 16 rebounds, Ricky Rubio tied a franchise high with 17 assists, and the Timberwolves beat Paul George and the Indiana Pacers, 104-91, Wednesday night in Minneapolis.
J.J. Barea scored 12 points off the bench as the Wolves took control early against the Eastern Conference leaders.
‘‘This is one of my favorite wins of the season just because we played a very good team,’’ Love said. ‘‘We did it without two key players and we fought hard.’’
George led Indiana with 35 points, but managed just 2 in the fourth quarter as the Pacers lost for the third time in five games, never once taking a lead.
‘‘We just didn’t have a whole lot of pop tonight,’’ said David West, who scored 4 points and struggled guarding Love all night. ‘‘This is a game that I thought we would come out and play a little better than we did. We just didn’t have it, just a step or two slow.’’
Knicks 98, Pelicans 91 — Carmelo Anthony capped a 42-point performance with three clutch baskets in the last two minutes, and visiting New York snapped a three-game skid.
A night after losing at Memphis, New York blew a 13-point, fourth-quarter lead before Anthony, coming off a 30-point outing in the All-Star game in the same arena Sunday, took over by hitting a pair of pull-up jumpers from the left side of the lane. He hit the first of them over Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis, who blocked five shots in the game, and the second over Luke Babbitt.
Warriors 101, Kings 92 — David Lee had 23 points and 11 rebounds, Klay Thompson scored 18 points, and Golden State held off host Sacramento in a game both teams played shorthanded.
With both centers out with injuries and a shorter roster from trades each team made earlier in the day, the depth of the Warriors was just too much for the Kings to overcome.
Bobcats 116, Pistons 98 — Al Jefferson scored 29 points, Kemba Walker had 24 points and a career-high 16 assists, and host Charlotte beat Detroit for the second straight night.
The win gives the Bobcats (25-30) a sweep of the three-game season series and a 2½-game lead over the Pistons in the race for the eighth playoff spot in the East.
It was Walker’s best all-around game since returning from a sprained ankle.
Cavaliers 101, Magic 93 — Kyrie Irving scored 22 points and host Cleveland won its sixth straight.
Irving, chosen as MVP of the All-Star game Sunday, paced a balanced offense that extended the Cavaliers’ longest winning streak since they won eight in a row in March 2010.
Bulls 94, Raptors 92 — Carlos Boozer scored 20 points, D.J. Augustin had 19 against his former team, and visiting Chicago won its fourth straight and ended Toronto’s winning streak at three.
Wizards 114, Hawks 97 — John Wall scored 21 points and visiting Washington recovered after almost blowing a 20-point lead to beat reeling Atlanta.
Nets 105, Jazz 99 — Joe Johnson scored 27 points, Andre Blatche had 25, and Brooklyn beat Utah for the Nets’ first win in Salt Lake City since 2008.
Spurs 111, Trail Blazers 109 — Patty Mills scored 13 of his 29 points over the final eight minutes as San Antonio survived without Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Kawhi Leonard to beat host Portland.
Rockets 134, Lakers 108 — James Harden dropped 29 points to go with 20 from Dwight Howard in his return to Los Angeles as visiting Houston rolled.