Love, T'wolves dismantle Sixers
PHILADELPHIA — Nikola Pekovic had to chuckle on the bench as fans held a pair of gigantic cutouts of his head right over him.
His Minnesota teammates were certainly amused, laughing at the trio of Pekovic heads.
"When you look at the heads, then you hold it up to close to him, they're actually the same size," Kevin Love said, smiling.
The T-Wolves could afford some levity after a romp on a night when the basket had to look as large as one of those oversized heads.
Love scored 16 of his 26 points in a dominant third quarter and Pekovic had 16 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 126-95 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.
Minnesota made 16 of 26 3-pointers (62 percent) to put this one away in a hurry and moved back to .500 (17-17). Kevin Martin scored 18 points and Corey Brewer had 15 to help the Timberwolves win for the fourth time in six games.
Thaddeus Young scored 20 points for the Sixers, who entered the night having won the final four games of a six-game road trip.
The Timberwolves ended any threat of Philadelphia extending its streak by the second quarter. They led by 16 at the half and Love hit a pair of 3s in the third to build a 31-point lead.
The Timberwolves had seven players score in double figures.
The undersized Sixers simply had no answer for the Love and Pekovic underneath, or in Love's case from beyond the arc. Young, named before the game the Eastern Conference player of the week, gamely tried to shut down the potent duo, with no luck.
Love and the Timberwolves turned the game into a blowout in the third. He hit his first 3 for a 24-point lead, converted a three-point play for a 25-point lead, then nailed another 3 late in the quarter to make it 96-71.
Nets 91, Hawks 86
At New York, Joe Johnson snapped out of a slump with 23 points against his former team, and Brooklyn matched a season high with its third straight victory.
Mirza Teletovic scored 16 points and Alan Anderson added 14 starting in place of the injured Deron Williams as the Nets moved to 2-0 on four-game homestand that finishes with visits from Golden State on Wednesday and Miami on Friday.
Despite yet another injury to a key player, the Nets look ready to test themselves against those powerful teams after matching their three consecutive victories from Dec. 7-12.
Paul Millsap scored 16 points for Atlanta.
Clippers 101, Magic 81
At Los Angeles, Darren Collison scored 19 of his 21 points in the first half and had seven assists in his second start at point guard since Chris Paul's injury, leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a rout of the Magic.
Paul separated his right shoulder in Friday's win at Dallas and is expected to be sidelined for at least six weeks.
Collison orchestrated things without a hitch against the last-place team in the Southeast Division. The Clippers enjoyed one of their best defensive efforts of the season, after surrendering 70 first-half points in each of their previous two games against Dallas and San Antonio — both on the road.