AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- There wasn't much for Detroit Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks to like about his team's performance Tuesday night at the Palace.
There was a whole lot of Love, though.
Minnesota forward Kevin Love had 19 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in the first half and finished with 26 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists in 30 minutes.
The Pistons had no answer for Love and lost, 121-94, to the Timberwolves.
"Kevin Love, the way he played, was pretty good," Cheeks said. "I talked about him before the game, his ability to play on the block, his ability to step off the block and make threes is a huge challenge for anybody guarding him.
"Now, if we're scoring down in the paint, making him guard down in there, take some of his energy away of shooting the ball, yeah. But we weren't doing it, and they continued to score and score and score."
The 27-point losing margin was the largest against the Timberwolves in franchise history.
"We got to get better at pick-and-roll defense," Cheeks said. "Like I said, they were a pretty good offensive team, and all Rick Adelman teams are usually pretty good offensively. When they get on a roll, they continue scoring. I think they average 104, 105, anyway. ... For us to continue scoring like that, it was going to be a huge task for us."
The Pistons took their only lead in the second quarter, when Brandon Jennings (20 points, seven assists) made a behind-the-back pass to Andre Drummond, who finished with a dunk. That gave the Pistons a 42-41 lead with 7:11 left in the quarter, but they wound up being outscored, 31-19, in the period and trailed, 64-41, at halftime.
The Pistons had 20 turnovers, including eight in the second quarter.
"We were scoring, they were scoring, and then we had those turnovers and they continued to score," Cheeks said.
The Timberwolves outscored the Pistons, 21-9, over the final 6:43 of the second quarter.
After the Pistons took their one-point lead, Kevin Martin and Love helped quickly push the Timberwolves back on top. Martin scored seven straight points for Minnesota -- four free throws and a three-pointer -- and the Pistons trailed, 50-44.
Love hit a pair of free throws, got an offensive rebound off after Martin missed a jumper and hit a three-pointer to put the Pistons behind by double digits, 57-47, with 2:49 remaining in the half.
"It was a great first half for us," Love said. "We went on that run, kept it to double digits, and never really looked back. When we can do that, show our maturity and our leadership throughout the entire lineup, that's really big for us."
Love hit a three-pointer with 7:34 left in the third quarter to put the Timberwolves ahead, 74-57.
The Pistons came back to cut the deficit to 86-75 with 2:11 left in the third quarter on a three-pointer by Chauncey Billups. It was the first game back for Billups after missing 14 with left knee tendinitis.
The Timberwolves answered by ending the quarter on a 10-2 run. Martin answered Billups' triple with a three. After Billups missed another triple, Martin his second straight three.
Ricky Rubio scored 11 of his 15 points in the third quarter for the Timberwolves.
Josh Smith scored 17 points for the Pistons, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope chipped in a career-high 16 points.
"It was kind of tough to slow them down at first," Caldwell-Pope said of the Timberwolves. "They had us so spread out so they were getting in, but once we closed that out, they were getting threes, so it was kind of tough to play both parts."
The Pistons visit the New Orleans Pelicans tonight.
"We have to go back to the drawing board," Caldwell-Pope said. "We have a game tomorrow, so we have to get ready for that one. We have to just let this one go and get ready for the next game."
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