NBA News Wire
Timberwolves 121, Warriors 120
OAKLAND, Calif. — Kevin Martin nailed an 18-footer from the left side with 8.4 seconds remaining, lifting the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 121-120 victory on Friday night over the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors had a chance to win in the final seconds, but reserve forward Harrison Barnes misfired on an open 20-footer just before the final buzzer.
In snapping a seven-game losing streak to the Warriors, the Timberwolves took possession of the ball after small forward Andre Iguodala had put Golden State up 120-119 by making two free throws with 27.9 seconds left.
Minnesota went to All-Star power forward Kevin Love, but the big guy opted to dish to Martin, who drilled the winner.
Martin and Love shared scoring honors for the Timberwolves with 26 points. Love, who had to leave the game twice because ankle and knee injuries, also found time for 14 rebounds and eight assists.
Eleven of Love’s 26 points came at the free throw line, where Minnesota outscored Golden State 18-13.
Center Nikola Pekovic had a 22-point, 14-rebound double-double for the Timberwolves (21-21), who won their third in a row.
Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, who passed to Barnes for Golden State’s potential winner in the final seconds, had 33 points and 15 assists.
Power forward David Lee added 23 points, shooting guard Klay Thompson 18 and Iguodala 16 for the Warriors (26-18), who lost their second in a row at home.
Both teams shot 50 percent or better from the field for the game.
The Warriors trailed 118-113 after a 10-footer by guard Ricky Rubio with 1:58 to go but rallied within one on an Iguodala jumper and 3-pointer on successive possessions that sandwiched a Rubio free throw.
Iguodala was fouled on his 3 from the left corner with 1:16 to go but failed to tie the score by missing his free throw.
Iguodala made up for the foul-line failure two possessions later, dropping in two with 27.9 seconds left to give Golden State its final lead at 120-119.
The Warriors never led by more than four until scoring the final 10 points of the third quarter with Love off the floor because of his knee injury. Curry had a 3-pointer in the run that turned a three-point deficit into a 98-91 advantage entering the fourth quarter.
But even with Love still on the bench, the Timberwolves hung within four into the fifth minute of the fourth quarter before rallying into a 102-all tie with 6:53 left on a Pekovic left-hander.
NOTES: The Timberwolves-Warriors pairing was the only game among 13 in the NBA on Friday night to pit All-Star starters against one another. Minnesota PF Kevin Love and Golden State PG Stephen Curry were both voted onto the Western Conference starting five Thursday. … Informed that the Eastern Conference starting All-Star frontcourt consisted of Miami SF LeBron James, New York SF Carmelo Anthony and Indiana SF Paul George, the 6-foot-10 Love observed, “Guess I’ll be guarding LeBron.” Added Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman, “That’s going to be an interesting game. Really no guarding. I’m not sure Kevin is going to be real thrilled starting in that game.” … Timberwolves backup SG Alexey Shved wore a facemask to cover up a fractured nose suffered Tuesday at Utah. … Asked if he considered resting ailing starters C Andrew Bogut (bruised knee) and PF David Lee (strained shoulder) at this stage of the season, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said with a chuckle, “I haven’t gotten my Pop (Spurs coach Gregg Popovich) on yet.”
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