Love leads T-Wolves past Magic in OT
Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Love had a monster game with 31 points and 17 rebounds, including a late 3-pointer that sent the game to overtime, and the Minnesota Timberwolves came through with a 120-115 victory over the Orlando Magic at Target Center.
Kevin Martin scored seven of his 23 points in the extra stanza to help the Timberwolves win their season opener.
With Minnesota down 103-100 with 12.5 seconds left in regulation, Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman called a sideline out-of-bounds play for Love, who came off a pick from Nikola Pekovic and buried the three to tie the game.
Orlando's Arron Afflalo had a team-high 28 points and Nikola Vucevic recorded his first double-double of 2013-14 with 22 points and 16 rebounds in the loss.
Afflalo had the opportunity to end it in regulation, but his turn-around jumper was contested by Corey Brewer and hit the front of the rim as time expired.
In overtime, with the game tied at 105, Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio and Pekovic ran a textbook pick-and-roll play when the Montenegrin hit the layup and was fouled in the process. He connected the free throw for the old fashioned three-point play.
Orlando's Solomon Jones hit a baseline jumper the following possession down the floor for the Magic, and Martin answered right back for Minnesota with a fade-away floater, got fouled, and hit the free throw to extend the lead to 111-107.
After a Rubio block on Jameer Nelson, Love hit a cutting Pekovic for the bucket to extend the lead to six with just two minutes to play.
Afflalo hit two free throws and Martin hit an open jumper from the wing with a minute remaining to seal it for the Twin City faithful.
Orlando came out sluggish to start the game, trailing 38-27 after the first quarter, a night after taking a hard fought loss to Indiana in their season- opener. Minnesota came out firing on all cylinders, shooting 13-of-22 (59 percent) from the field in the first frame, led by reserve guard J.J. Barea, who had 9 points off the bench. He finished with 11 points and three assists.
The Magic chipped away in the final three quarters, winning each and ultimately forcing Minnesota, and Love, into the pressure shot at the end.
Every starter for Minnesota ended in double figures. Rubio finished with a double-double, 13 points and 11 assists, and Brewer ended up with 16 points with numerous hustle plays in the fourth and overtime.
Nelson had 18 points and eight assists in the losing effort.
These teams split their two meetings last season, each team winning at their home gym. They meet again in Orlando on April 5th, 2014 ... Minnesota's largest lead was 17 and Orlando's was three, which came in the final minute before Love tied it ... Love is the longest-tenured member of the Timberwolves, entering his sixth season ... It was the 13th consecutive year that Minnesota opened their season at the Target Center.
10/31 00:04:26 ET