Timberwolves 91, Pistons 80

It took almost three full seasons, but the Minnesota

Timberwolves finally won a game in April.

Nikola Pekovic scored 23 points and J.J. Barea flirted with a

triple-double to help the Timberwolves to a 91-80 victory over the

Detroit Pistons on Thursday night. The win was the franchise’s

first in the final month of the regular season since 2009 –

breaking a 27-game losing streak.

”We finally got a win,” said Berea, who finished with 13

points, 12 assists and six rebounds to help Minnesota snap an

11-game overall losing skid. ”We had a lot of energy and we moved

the ball well.”

The Timberwolves never trailed and took a 49-31 halftime lead

after shooting 57 percent (21 of 37) from the field. An 8-0 run

pushed the lead to over 20 points midway through the third quarter

but the Pistons rallied in the fourth to make it close.

Tayshaun Prince had 18 points and Will Bynum scored all of his

17 in the fourth quarter for the Pistons, who lost for the second

time in as many nights.

”Except for parts of the fourth quarter it was pretty good,”

Minnesota coach Rick Adelman said. ”We just want to see if we can

turn this around in the last two games and end the season on a

positive note.”

Pekovic made five of his first six shots to start the game and

had 13 points in the first half to pace the Wolves, who hadn’t won

since March 28, at Charlotte. He finished with nine rebounds.

The Pistons ended the first quarter by missing 10 straight field

goals and shot just 29 percent in the first half. The 31 first-half

points were one off their worst halftime output this season.

Detroit trailed 78-55 with less than 8 minutes to play but

outscored the Wolves 19-3 over the next 6 minutes to cut the lead

to seven points. Pekovic had a putback and dunk in the last 90

seconds to end the rally and force the Pistons to foul.

Pistons coach Lawrence Frank, who called Wednesday’s lackluster

116-84 loss at Atlanta ”unacceptable,” wasn’t much happier with

most of the next night’s effort.

”We looked a little punch drunk at times out there,” he said

after his team’s starters shot a combined 16 of 50 from the

field.

Ben Gordon scored 14 points for the Pistons and fellow reserve

Charlie Villanueva grabbed 12 rebounds.

Anthony Randolph had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Michael

Beasley added 13 points for the Wolves, who finish the season with

two home games.

Notes: Adelman said All-Star C Kevin Love (concussion/neck

strain) might return for the team’s final two games if he is

cleared by doctors. Love, who left an April 11 game at Denver after

a hard fall, was scheduled to undergo tests Thursday. . Pistons F

Ben Wallace did not play Thursday to attend a funeral. .

Minnesota’s last April win was April 8, 2009, at Golden State.