After a busy offseason of trades, signings and projections, we all got to see the finished project of the Minnesota Timberwolves and it looks pretty good. The Timberwolves took on the Orlando Magic and won in overtime 120-115.
The Wolves celebrated their 25th season before the game and brought that momentum with them.
After missing 64 games last season and seeming unhappy with the organization last season many fans were left wondering what would happen with Kevin Love? He answered that question last night with being the top scorer of the game with 31 points and 17 rebounds and hit the game-tying 3-pointer with 10.2 seconds left to force the game into overtime.
Ricky Rubio scored 13 points, 11 assists and three steals while Corey Brewer finished with 16 points and 3 rebounds.
Arron Afflalo had 28 points and nine rebounds and Nikola Vucevic had 22 points and 16 rebounds for the Magic. Orlando led by three with 12.5 seconds to play.
That’s when Love made a 3-pointer with just over two seconds to tie the game and Afflalo missed a turn-around baseline jumper at the buzzer that would have won the game in regulation.
Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin hit three-point plays in overtime for a 113-107 lead with 2:36 to play, and the Wolves just breathed a big sigh of relief at the start of a season that begins with high expectations. Martin scored 23 points on 6-for-19 shooting and Pekovic scored 11 points and had 7 rebounds.
Jameer Nelson had 18 points and eight assists and Victor Oladipo had 14 points, six rebounds and four assists for Orlando.
The Timberwolves added Martin and Brewer and entered the season wanting to play a powerful offense that could get them into the playoffs for the first time since 2004. That offense was on fire early as the Wolves scored 38 points in the first quarter.
Coach Rick Adelman’s concerns about the team losing focus came back to life. Afflalo was able to capitalize on the Wolves lack of focus and found his groove in the third quarter. His 3-pointer cut Minnesota’s lead to 69-68 midway through the quarter and the Magic trailed by seven heading into the fourth.
All hope was seemingly gone when Oladipo hit two free throws for a 103-100 lead with 12.5 seconds to go. Love came off a screen, rose up and swished the big shot.
The Wolves play the Oklahoma City Thunder next Friday at 7:00 PM.