NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Luke Ridnour made the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 1:23 left, Nikola Pekovic scored a career-high 27 points, and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the New Jersey Nets 108-105 on Friday night.
The Timberwolves overcame a career-high 42 points from Anthony Morrow, whose eight 3-pointers in 11 attempts were the most in the NBA this season.
Kevin Love added 20 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota, which surpassed its road victory total from last season by improving to 6-4. The Wolves, just 5-36 on the road last season, have won three in a row away from home.
Rookie Ricky Rubio finished with 10 points and 10 assists for the Wolves in his point guard matchup with Deron Williams. Williams had 12 points and 14 assists, but shot just 5 of 18 and had two costly turnovers in the final minute.
Rubio came up with a steal with about 1 1/2 minutes left, leading to Ridnour’s 3-pointer that made it 102-99. The Wolves got the ball back after replays showed a ball went off Williams out of bounds, and Ridnour made two free throws for a five-point lead.
But Morrow, who missed the last game with a sprained left ankle, converted a four-point play to make it 104-103 with 22 seconds left. Jose Barea and Ridnour each made a pair from the line around Kris Humphries’ dunk to keep the lead at three, and the Nets lost their final chance when Williams fumbled the ball trying to throw a pass, with Rubio eventually coming up with it and lofting it downcourt as time ran out.
Humphries had 16 points and nine rebounds.
Pekovic, in his second year from Montenegro, made 11 of 14 shots. He replaced an ineffective Darko Milicic to start the second half and dominated inside while also grabbing 11 rebounds. His layup erased the Nets’ last lead and tied it a 99 with 1:55 left.
The Wolves led 23-19 after one, then used a 13-1 run early in the second to open a 36-22 lead on Michael Beasley’s follow with 8:15 remaining in the half. Morrow then hit a 3-pointer and suddenly the Nets were rolling, tearing off a 23-5 spurt that gave them a 45-41 edge.
Morrow hit his fourth 3 of the period with 1:33 to go, and the Nets led 50-49 at the break.
The Wolves trailed by one early in the third before Wes Johnson slammed down Rubio’s lob pass, then hit a 3-pointer for a 63-59 lead. Love hit two free throws, Rubio made a nifty move that had the crowd gasping to set up Johnson for a three-point play, and Pekovic hit two free throws to cap a 12-0 burst and make it 70-59 with 5:17 left in the period.
The Nets cut it to 80-75 after three.
Notes: Morrow’s previous career best of 37 came on Nov. 15, 2008, for Golden State, when he set an NBA record for most points scored by an undrafted rookie. … The Nets won’t play in Brooklyn until next season, but they’ll be in New York on Monday. The Nets will wear their jerseys from the New York Nets of the ABA for the first of five games as part of the NBA’s Hardwood Classic nights. They played on Long Island from 1968-77, winning two titles. … Morrow was wincing as he came down the floor after rebounding the miss of Minnesota’sfirst shot, but didn’t appear bothered again by the ankle injury. … Milicic had missed three games with an illness before returning Wednesday against Indiana.
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