MILWAUKEE - New Timberwolves guard Luke Ridnour had a small measure of revenge against his former teammates. But after the game, both teams were crying foul about the officiating after the crew called 63 personal fouls and six technicals.
Ridnour hit three free throws with 1 second left in overtime to rally Minnesota to a 119-118 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night in the exhibition finale for both teams.
"It seems like it always starts like this in the preseason — a lot of fouls, emphasizing different things and then the regular season gets started it is a different game," said Ridnour, who signed a $16 million, four-year contract in July. "We just got to adjust to it and keep fighting and get ready for the real show."
The crew of Leroy Richardson, Gary Zielinski and Ed Malloy blew the whistle early and often.
"You hear the fans complaining about the game of basketball, how it's not the same as it used to be and they want to make it more fan attractive," said Drew Gooden, who finished with 12 points and was careful not to criticize the officiating. "(If) it's the way we have to make it more fan attractive by making the calls, then so be it."
The Bucks led 118-112 with 2:05 left, but the Timberwolves (6-2) hit seven straight free throws to end it. Ridnour finished with 17 points, including going 10 of 10 from the free throw line, and had seven assists against his old team.
Minnesota trailed by 15 points in the first half, but Ridnour hit a 3-pointer with 17 seconds left that sent the game into overtime after Keyon Dooling missed a contested runner at the buzzer for the Bucks (3-5).
Corey Maggette scored all 17 of his points form the free throw line on 20 attempts before fouling out in his Bucks' debut. He missed both of his shots from the field.
Maggette and Gooden were the two biggest additions to the Bucks, who made the playoffs for the first time in four years last season but had a glaring lack of offensive firepower after Andrew Bogut's season-ending injury.
Maggette fouled out in the third quarter, and Gooden and Bogut weren't on the court down the stretch. Bogut, still working his way back from right elbow, wrist and hand injuries suffered in April, scored seven points and had six rebounds in 25 minutes.
"Sixty-three fouls called in a game, the game just went two hours and 50 minutes, it was pretty boring," Bogut said. "You get games like that, you don't want them."
Milwaukee failed to grab a rebound late when the Timberwolves missed two 3-point attempts in the closing seconds before Ridnour was fouled by Chris Douglas-Roberts with 1 second left. After hitting all three free throws, he leapt into Kevin Love's arms on the bench.
"That was a veteran-type of play and he recognized the clock," Douglas-Roberts said. "He created the contact but at the end of the game you've got to leave it up to the ref right there, and the ref made the foul call."
Timberwolves center Darko Milicic returned from a sore neck, scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. He also drew laughs when he dunked a ball in the fourth quarter, hung on the rim drawing the sixth technical of the night, and then fell awkwardly.
"It's tough but it's those new rules so we've got to control our actions and watch what we say," said Timberwolves forward Corey Brewer, who also drew a technical.
It certainly had the feel of an exhibition game until the end.
At one point during an officials' review, Michael Beasley sat on the scorers' table and chatted with Bucks TV analyst Jon McGlocklin, who asked him about Minnesota's weather.
"I'm already freezing," Beasley quipped after being dealt from Miami in a trade that helped the Heat clear salary cap space to sign LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
Milwaukee was without John Salmons (right knee), Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (right ankle) and Jon Brockman (left ankle), while the Timberwolves were missing Jonny Flynn (left hip), Wesley Johnson (left hamstring), Martell Webster (back spasms) and Sebastian Telfair (heel, right shoulder).
Both teams open their seasons Wednesday. Minnesota hosts Sacramento and Milwaukee plays at New Orleans.