Martin's shots fall when needed most by Wolves


Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Martin, right, follows through on a basket in overtime of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013 in Minneapolis. Martin scored 23 points as the Timberwolves defeated the Orlando Magic 120-115.

Photo: Jim Mone, Associated Press - Ap

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger


Too often Wednesday night, Kevin Martin chose to shoot from long range instead of attack, and he wasn’t making enough of them. Through four quarters of the Timberwolves’ season opener, Martin scored 16 points, but needed 17 shots to do it.

“Thanks to Kevin Love,” Martin said. “He said he was going to give me another chance in the overtime, and that’s what he did. I couldn’t let him down for the fifth straight quarter.”

After Love hit his 25-foot three-pointer near the end of regulation to force overtime, Martin did what he was signed to do — close out a game. Martin, 4-for-17 through regulation, was 2-for-2 in the overtime and scored seven points as the Wolves rallied to beat Orlando 120-115 at Target Center.

Included in Martin’s performance was perhaps the second-biggest play of the game. The Wolves led by three with 3:46 to play in overtime after Nikola Pekovic’s three-point play. After an Orlando bucket cut the lead to one, Martin — moving right to left — took a pass from Love and was bumped hard by rookie Victor Oladipo. Knocked off balance, Martin squared his body in the air and drained a 17-footer. Then he hit the free throw, putting the Wolves up 111-107 with 2:35 left.

He added another 18-footer just over a minute later, and he hit two free throws with 24.3 seconds left. His late-game ability was one of the things the Wolves were looking for when they signed Martin to be the tall shooting guard the franchise needed so much.

“I know I’m capable of that,” Martin said. “I’ve done that throughout my career. But I don’t want to be in that situation too much, so I have to hit shots throughout the game.”

Starting from the start

On a night all about fresh, shiny beginnings, the opener was all new for Ricky Rubio. Wednesday’s extravagant pregame ceremony was the first time in his three-year NBA career that he was introduced as a starter at the first home game.

Luke Ridnour started for the first few weeks of Rubio’s rookie season two years ago. Last season, he was still recovering from knee surgery on opening night while he sat beside Love, also in street clothes because of a broken hand.

“I remember that feeling, sitting on the side with Kevin watching the video, and I remember watching him and feeling a little painful,” Rubio said. “Watching our teammates going out there and we couldn’t be with them.”

One of Rubio’s agents, Jarinn Akana, was in town for the game. By this time next year, Rubio could have a rich contract extension of his current rookie contract. He is eligible to sign one before the start of next season.

Brewer in the lineup

Coach Rick Adelman finally picked his starting small forward for the opener, mostly out of necessity: Corey Brewer, who started the first four preseason games before Adelman experimented with Derrick Williams, Robbie Hummel and Dante Cunningham at that position in the final three games.

Adelman said that might change when the Wolves play Oklahoma City on Friday or New York on Sunday.

Williams sits

Williams didn’t play a second in the opener of his third NBA season, an absence Adelman attributed to a three-guard configuration the Magic uses with its second unit.

Adelman countered by playing three guards himself while Cunningham played behind Love at power forward. Adelman hinted before the game that somebody might not get off the bench, but assured everyone in his rotation will play in the season’s opening games.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 7 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 1
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Houston 85 FINAL
Miami 90
Indiana 89 FINAL
Minnesota 107
Utah 105 FINAL
Oklahoma City 91
Portland 93 FINAL
Denver 75
Phoenix 114 FINAL
LA Lakers 108
LA Clippers 107 FINAL
Golden State 125
San Jose 3 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Rangers 4 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 3
Toronto 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Detroit 1 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 2
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Nashville 4
Carolina 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 3
Philadelphia 0 FINAL
Chicago 4
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Dallas 6
Florida 4 FINAL(OT)
Colorado 3
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(OT)
Calgary 1
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Which local team are you currently most excited about?

Weekly Question