Jefferson, Wolves snap slide
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Al Jefferson had 25 points and 12 rebounds, and the Minnesota Timberwolves spoiled Danny Granger's surprise return with a 116-109 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.
Kevin Love had 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Ryan Gomes added 15 points and eight rebounds for the Timberwolves, who snapped a five-game losing streak.
Granger scored 19 points in his return from a 16-game absence because of a heel injury and the Pacers made 16 of their 32 3-pointers. But the All-Star missed an open look at a 3-pointer that would have tied it with about 15 seconds to play and the Pacers lost their eighth straight road game.
Troy Murphy also returned after missing four games with a sprained ankle. He scored 21 points and Mike Dunleavy added 18.
The Timberwolves, who have struggled all season coming out of halftime, took control in the third quarter with a 17-0 run. Jonny Flynn was the facilitator, hitting a jumper and a 3, and organizing the offense the way coach Kurt Rambis has been asking him to do.
Flynn's two free throws gave the Wolves an 84-69 lead with 4:30 to go in the third quarter, but the Pacers' 3-point shooting kept them in the game.
Dunleavy made one from the top early in the fourth period to cut the lead to 92-88 and the Pacers got as close as 98-97 with 7 minutes to go. But the Timberwolves didn't falter, riding a 56-36 advantage on the boards to just their eighth triumph of the season.