Timberwolves 88, Pelicans 77: Kevin Love racked up 30 points and 14 rebounds as host Minnesota held off short-handed New Orleans for a season-high fourth straight win.
Kevin Martin scored 18 points for the Timberwolves, who finally succeed in moving above .500 after 10 failed attempts since falling to 8-8 on Nov. 25. Dante Cunningham scored 12 points and fellow reserve J.J. Barea added 10 points and six assists.
Al-Farouq Aminu collected 18 points and 12 rebounds and Eric Gordon added 14 points for the Pelicans, who were without star forward Anthony Davis because of an injured left index finger. Tyreke Evans scored 11 points off the bench and Greg Stiemsma grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds in a rare start in place of Davis.
Minnesota scored the game's first six points and never trailed, breaking it open with a 15-4 first-quarter run. The Timberwolves shot just 38.1 percent in the first half but held New Orleans to 30.2 percent en route to a 47-35 halftime lead.
The Pelicans made a brief charge in the third, as Gordon's three-point play set off a 7-0 spurt to trim the deficit to 57-54 and New Orleans went into the final stanza down by five. Love scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to restore the double-digit margin and it didn't get closer than eight the rest of the way.
GAME NOTEBOOK: In addition to Davis, the Pelicans were without G Jrue Holiday, F Ryan Anderson and C Jason Smith. That quartet combines for 64.2 points per game. … Love has topped 20 points and 10 rebounds in 27 games this season, most in the NBA. … Minnesota's Ronny Turiaf made his first start since the 2011-12 season in place of injured C Nikola Pekovic (ankle) and finished with four points and eight rebounds in 26 minutes.