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Love, Rubio lead Timberwolves into EnergySolutions

Published January 21, 2012 3:30 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin watched Minnesota's come-from-behind 101-98 victory over the Clippers on Friday night at Staples Center.He was "very impressed" by the young Timberwolves, who visit EnergySolutions Arena on Saturday at 7 p.m."They play hard," Corbin said. "... It's a good young club that's playing extremely hard. They're getting better every night out. They lost a few games but I think five of their losses were by four points or less, so they are a very [competitive] ballclub."The Timberwolves (7-8) have won three straight and can reach .500 for the first by beating the Jazz, who come off a 94-91 loss to Dallas on Thursday.Minnesota is led by forward Kevin Love, who averages 24.7 points and 14.5 rebounds. He ranks fifth in the NBA in scoring, second in rebounding and his 27-foot three-pointer at the buzzer gave the Timberwolves their win over the Clippers."Tremendous competitor," Corbin said. "He works hard. He's going to compete. He's going to keep his body on guys. He's below the rim but he's physical — putting his hands on you and using his weight. Smart player. Smart cutter. Good passer. So it's going to be 48 minutes of tough play against him."The Timberwolves' point guard is rookie Ricky Rubio, who averages 10.6 points and 8.1 assists. He finished with nine points, six rebounds and six assists against the Clippers, who saw him tie their game with Minnesota at 98-98 with a late three-pointer. "He's a talented guy," said Jazz point guard Devin Harris. "He's a pass-first guy but a guy who can create a lot of havoc. He keeps his dribble and makes good decisions." Minnesota is coached by Rick Adelman, who spent the last four seasons in Houston before being hired by the Timberwolves. His is eighth on the list of all-time NBA coaching wins with 952. — Steve Luhm