"He's been very, very good for us," Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman said. "He does so much for us, and night after night he continues to be very good."
As powerful a presence as he is in the paint, Love also hurt the Bucks from beyond the arc, where he went 4 of 6.
"He's good and he's improved his game now to the point that you have to get out and defend him at the perimeter," Drew said.
He paced a Timberwolves offense that shot 48 percent and was 11 of 24 from beyond the arc.
"We've had a few games this month where I really wish we would have pulled out, that we've had a chance to win and I feel like we blew a couple of them," Love said. "I feel like we're playing good basketball now. We're back to .500 and need to get over that hump."
The Bucks shot well early but had problems holding on to the ball. Milwaukee's 16 turnovers led to 25 points for Minnesota, but the Bucks couldn't stop the Timberwolves' offense, especially Love and Pekovic.
"They're tough coverage," Middleton said. "You've got Kevin Love, who likes to pop-and-shoot the 3-pointer. And Pekovic, he's a load in the paint. It's a good balance with them, but you just have to always be on their bodies, just be right where they are."
Milwaukee shot 56 percent in the first half but turned the ball over nine times for 14 Minnesota points and struggled to contain the Timberwolves inside. Love scored 18 on 7-of-11 shooting (3 of 4 3-pointers) as Minnesota went ahead by as many as 14 points and led 64-55 going into the break.
"When you give up that many points, chances are things aren't going good," Bucks coach Larry Drew said. "We didn't make shots early in the third quarter; we didn't execute. You miss a couple of shots, they make a couple of shots and next thing you know, they create a little separation."
Minnesota outscored Milwaukee 39-21 in the quarter and Adelman turned to his bench. But he sent Love, Pekovic and guard Ricky Rubio back in after Minnesota went 1 of 17 from the field with seven turnovers to open the fourth quarter, allowing Milwaukee cut the lead to 14 with five minutes to play.
"I didn't want to wait until there were three minutes to go and the lead only be six," Adelman said. "I just put them in for a couple minutes to get a couple baskets and that was it."
NOTES: Bucks C Larry Sanders made his first start since suffering a thumb injury on Nov. 3 and finished with nine points and 10 rebounds. Sanders was moved into the starting lineup in place of F John Henson, who was sidelined with a lower leg injury. ... Milwaukee's opponents have scored at least 10 3-pointers in each of the last seven games. ... The Timberwolves have won four in a row against Milwaukee, sweeping the series with the Bucks in each of the last two seasons. ... Milwaukee F Khris Middleton has scored 10 points or more in his last eight games. ... Minnesota F Kevin Love has 25 points or more in his last 10 games.