MINNEAPOLIS – One night after crowning the Sacramento Kings to win their ninth straight, thanks to LeBron James’ 36 points, six rebounds, five assists and one block, the (29-20) Cleveland Cavaliers tamed the (8-39) Minnesota Timberwolves, 106-90.
In what was a memorable—and anti-climatic—return for former power forward Kevin Love, who would be booed every time he touched the ball, Love finished with 14 points and 17 rebounds in his first appearance in the Twin Cities, since being traded for top overall pick, Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett.
The 19-year-old Wiggins, who was drafted by the Cavaliers this past summer out of Kansas, set an NBA record for most points scored by a teenager in scoring a career-high 33 points on 14-of-25 shooting in 43 minutes.
In what has emerged into a common theme in Cleveland’s longest win streak since March of 2010, the Cavaliers clamped down on defense late in holding Minnesota to five points in the final 9:22, while outscoring them 30-11.
Cleveland also held Minnesota to 42% shooting and outrebounded them, 52-35.
Timofey Mozgov added 14 points and four rebounds, Kyrie Irving had 12 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals. Matthew Dellavedova led all bench scorers—who outscored Minnesota, 25-9—with 10 points, including going 2-of-3 from three-point range.
With the win, in addition to the (30-19) Chicago Bulls’ 99-93 loss to the (28-21) Phoenix Suns late Friday, the Cavaliers move to within 1.5 games behind the Central Division leaders for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference.