jose juan barea

Not even a sprained finger to their All-Star forward could spoil this win for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

And it definitely made up for the clunker they turned in the night before - as much as it can, anyway.

J.J. Barea scored 12 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter while Kevin Love sat on the bench with an injured finger, lifting Minnesota to a 101-97 win over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.

The Timberwolves were playing for the second straight night, but fatigue hardly appeared to be a factor as they handed the Nuggets a rare home loss…

”It was good to hit some shots. We’ve been struggling to hit shots as a team,” Ridnour said. ”To be able to get going like that feels good.”

Especially with Love only able to watch after leaving with a sprained finger on his right hand in the third quarter. Love broke the same hand in October, missing the opening nine games of the season, and has struggled to get on track with his jumper ever since.

On the play in which he was injured, Love appeared to be sliding past a Nuggets player in the lane when he suddenly clutched at his hand before heading into the training room. Love had 12 points and 17 rebounds in nearly 24 minutes…

The Timberwolves were without point guard Ricky Rubio, who has been dealing with back spasms and remained in Minnesota during the two-game swing through Utah and Denver.

– Reported by Pat Graham of the Associated Press