The Timberwolves trailed by 12 at the half and by as many as 17 in the third quarter, but managed to make it a game in the fourth quarter by outscoring the Bucks 27-19.
Down 10 with just under four minutes left in the game, Minnesota went on a 8-0 run to cut it to two behind five points from Michael Beasley and two assists from rookie Ricky Rubio. The Timberwolves had a chance to tie it with seven seconds left in the game, but Kevin Love's 26-foot heave missed to Bucks rookie Jon Leuer, whose three-pointer with 1:17 left provided the difference.
Kevin Love had 31 points and 20 rebounds for the Timberwolves.
The Timberwolves play again on Friday against the Miami Heat.