New Orleans took a one-point lead to halftime but then Minnesota appeared to take control of the game with a strong third quarter that saw the Wolves push the lead to as much as 14 points. The Hornets battled back in the fourth quarter to tighten things up and after Marco Belinellli drained a long three-pointer, the game was tied at 78-78 with two minutes to play.
From there, the Timberwolves put away the game at the free throw line making 9 of 10 free throws down the stretch to account for all of the Minnesota scoring in that decisive 9-2 run. The big free throws came courtesy of three different players with Ricky Rubio making 4 of 4, Kevin Love 3 of 4 and Luke Ridnour finishing it off by making two more.
Love had another monster game for Minnesota with 34 points and 15 rebounds. While the guard tandem of Ridnour and Rubio pitched in to help, with Ridnour adding 13 points and 5 rebounds. Rubio added a little bit of everything with 12 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds and 3 steals.
The Hornets, playing without guard Eric Gordon, were led by Belinelli with 20 points and center Emeka Okafor who added 16 points and 14 rebounds.