MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Wolves need overtime to defeat Orlando
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota star Kevin Love racked up 31 points and 17 rebounds as the Timberwolves topped the Magic 120-115 in overtime at the Target Center last night. The Wolves held a 17-point first half lead, but squandered the advantage and trailed by three with under 11-seconds to play. Love hit a three-point shot to tie the game and it went to overtime, where Minnesota reclaimed control. Kevin Martin netted 23 points and Ricky Rubio had 13 points, 11 assists and six boards for the T'wolves in the season-opening win. Corey Brewer chipped in with 16 points in the victory. Arron Afflalo recorded 28 points, nine boards and five assists for Orlando, which opened its season with a 97-87 loss in Indiana on Tuesday. Minnesota hosts Oklahoma City tomorrow night at 7 p.m. in Minneapolis.
The Big Ten will be holding its annual basketball media day today in Chicago. University of Minnesota men's coach Richard Pitino and women's coach Pam Borton will be attending, as will select players from both teams. The Golden Gopher men open exhibition play tomorrow night against Cardinal-Stritch at Williams Arena. The Minnesota women opened with an 82-44 preseason win over Winona State on Tuesday night.
The 6-2 Golden Gopher football team visits 3-4 Indiana on Saturday. Despite the records of both teams, Indiana is considered a ten-point favorite by the oddsmakers. Minnesota quarterback Phillip Nelson of Mankato says he knows the Gopher offense must stay on the field and sustain multiple drives to keep the high-powered Indiana offense off the field. The Hoosiers average 42-points per game. Kickoff on Saturday is set for 2:30 p.m.
Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier isn't revealing his starting quarterback for Sunday's game against Dallas just yet. Frazier said he has an idea of who will start but he probably won't announce his decision until Friday. Christian Ponder started last Sunday's 44-31 home loss to Green Bay. The 1-and-6 Vikings clash with the 4-and-4 Cowboys on Sunday in Dallas.
Vikings kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson is the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for Week Eight. Patterson earned the award after returning last week's opening kickoff against Green Bay 109 yards for a touchdown, which was the longest kick return in NFL history and matched the longest play all-time.
Dallas wide receiver Miles Austin was one of several players to sit out practice yesterday. Austin is still hampered with a left hamstring injury. DeMarcus Ware, Morris Claiborne, J.J. Wilcox, DeVonte Holloman and Danny McCray also missed practice. Running back DeMarco Murray, meanwhile, was a full participant on Wednesday. The Cowboys host the Vikings this Sunday.
The Minnesota Wild have one more day off before they resume their four-game homestand against the Montreal Canadiens tomorrow night at Xcel Energy Center. Minnesota opened the homestand with a 5-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday. The Wild sit at 6-4-and-3 on the season.
"Big Papi" is the big man in this year's Fall Classic. David Ortiz was named World Series Most Valuable Player. He went 11-for-16 for a .688 average with two home runs and six RBI. Ortiz later addressed the crowd with a clean version of his speech after the marathon bombings, saying "this is our bleeping city." He used the actual swear word in the earlier address this season. Ortiz is a former Minnesota Twin.