Minnesota Timberwolves have lost their first game of the season to the Cleveland Cavaliers 93-92.
The Cleveland Cavaliers managed to hold off a late rally for the one point victory over Minnesota on Monday night.
Cleveland led 93-84, but was scoreless over the final 2:43. Kevin Love‘s shot with 38 seconds remaining helped to cut the lead down to one point. Following a miss by Kyrie Irving, who had 15 points for the night, with 15 seconds left, the Timberwolves called a timeout to set up the last shot. Love, the NBA’s leading scorer, missed a 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds remaining and the ball was tipped away as time ran out.
Kevin Martin led the Timberwolves with 23 points. Love added 17 points and 13 rebounds for Minnesota, which won its first three games and was off to its best start since going 6-0 in 2001-02.
Love came into the game leading the NBA in scoring with 29.7 points and was second in rebounding with 14.7. Today he was chosen the Western Conference player of the week for the first time in his career.
Cavaliers rookie forward Anthony Bennett, missed all three of his shots and is 0 for 15 from the field this season. His only points have come on two free throws in the season opener. C.J. Miles scored 19 points, Irving added 15.
But the Wolves didn’t go down without a fight. The Timberwolves nearly erased a 23-point deficit midway through the third quarter to stay unbeaten.
The Timberwolves owned the first quarter in the first three games, averaging a league-high 37.3 points while shooting 55.2 percent from the floor. That included scoring 40 points in Sunday’s win in New York, but Cleveland’s defense brought that to a halt with Minnesota scoring 23 points and hitting 8 of 22 shots.
Minnesota trailed 76-61 going into the fourth quarter and cut the margin to nine points early in the period. Two baskets by Miles and a jumper by Bynum pushed the margin to 84-69, but the Timberwolves weren’t finished, outscoring Cleveland 31-19 in the final period.
Irving had eight rebounds and six assists, but committed nine turnovers and missed two shots down the stretch that would have helped Cleveland extend its lead.
With this win the Cavaliers avoided a third straight loss after a season-opening 98-94 home victory over Brooklyn.