MINNEAPOLIS (AFP) – Kevin Love scored 14 points and grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds in his triumphant return to Minnesota as the Cleveland Cavaliers ripped the Timberwolves 106-90 for their 10th consecutive NBA victory.
Star forward Love had made it clear he wanted to leave Minnesota and he was traded to Cleveland last August in a three-team deal that helped give the Cavaliers the support needed to become a contender after the signing of four-time NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James.
But Love left behind jilted T-Wolves fans that quickly displayed their unhappiness, booing him in the pre-game introductions and most every time he touched the ball.
Minnesota led 79-76 entering the fourth quarter, but the Cavaliers outscored the Timberwolves 30-11 in the final period to seal the victory.
James took over in the final minutes, scoring 16 of his game-high 36 points in the fourth quarter.
Russian big man Timofey Mozgov added 14 points and Australian guard Kyrie Irving contributed 12.
The Timberwolves fell to a league-worst 8-39 despite 33 points from 19-year-old Andrew Wiggins, who like Anthony Bennett was a former number one NBA Draft pick sent to Cleveland in the Love deal. Wiggins hit 14-of-25 shots from the field.
Thaddeus Young added 19 points for Minnesota while Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic each scored 14 points for the T-Wolves. Pekovic also contributed 12 rebounds.