Wolves record: 6-24
Ronald Tillery/Memphis Commercial Appeal game recap
Kevin Love challenged O.J. Mayo in the first professional meeting of two collegiate rivals swapped for each other at midnight on NBA draft night last summer, and Mayo answered.
But the Timberwolves and Al Jefferson ultimately prevailed, winning 108-98 in overtime on a Monday night when the home team set a club record with one made field goal in the second quarter, made only one of 14 three-point attempts and still somehow won.
They did so thanks to Jefferson’s season-high 38 points, which included seven points during an overtime in which the Wolves outscored Memphis 19-9.
Mayo had 23 points and Kyle Lowry finished with a career-high 12 assists, but Memphis lost its second consecutive overtime game and sixth in its last seven overall.
Mayo tied it at 89 with 27.6 seconds left and Minnesota’s Randy Foye missed a last-second jumper that would’ve won it in regulation.
The Wolves trailed by eight in the fourth quarter, but led by Jefferson and rookie Kevin Love, went on a 14-4 run to reclaim the lead. Four other Grizzlies finished in double figures.
Jefferson helped the Wolves rebound from a dismal second quarter and win at home for the first time since Nov. 19.
Kevin Love, who was acquired with Mike Miller in the draft-night trade for Mayo, added 17 points for Minnesota on a night when it set a franchise record by connecting on just one second-quarter field goal in 16 attempts.
The story of the game, though, was Jefferson, who topped his previous season-high of 34 points on Dec. 20 against Houston and matched his season-high for minutes played with 47, including the entire second half and all but the last 10.7 seconds of overtime.
Memphis received a balanced offensive attack from its starting five. Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol and Kyle Lowry joined Mayo with double-figure scoring performances. On the other side, Sebastian Telfair, who finished with nine points, led the Wolves bench along with Love. Kevin Ollie hit crucial free throws down the stretch for a 6-for-7 shooting night at the line and 14 points for the game.
Despite the dreadful second quarter, Minnesota shot 49.4 percent from the field in the game. The Wolves also reached the charity stripe 37 times and won the battle of second chance points. The third time was a charm for Minnesota in overtime games with losses to San Antonio and Golden State earlier this year.