View from Section 136:
It's a new look, new era for the Minnesota Timberwolves as they kick off the 2011-12 regular season at Target Center. Stationed in the corner of Section 136, BMTN will let you know what's happening as it happens in our ongoing blog-o-commentary-whatever-you-want-to-call it. Up first: the Oklahoma City Thunder, as Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio and co. kick off a lockout-shortened 66-game schedule:
FINAL: THUNDER 104, TIMBERWOLVES 100
9:32: Beasley foul on Perkins with 3 seconds left. Perkins hits 'em both to send crowd home. Wolves lose, but the throng seemed to have a good time.
9:27: Love fouls Westbrook with 50 seconds left, Thunder take 102-98 lead.
9:24: Beasley and Love both have 22 points right now, Barea with 14.
9:23: Tweet from Wolves prez Chris Wright: "It's been a long time.....atmosphere in Target Center is electric."
9:22: Very loud timeout. Crowd sniffing a win?
9:22: Rubio jumper gives Wolves 96-95 lead with 2:50 to go.
9:19: Down the stretch, Wolves lineup: Rubio, Love, Beasley, Barea, Williams.
9:18: Love tips one in with 4:21 to go to give Wolves first lead since first quarter, 94-93.
9:16: More 4TH-QUARTERNOTES from Wolves: "Should the Wolves come back to win tonight, it would improve their record to 16-7 all-time in Home Openers."
9:15: Love hits one of two free throws to make it 93-92 with 5:05 to go.
9:07: Tolliver makes defensive stop, Rubio gets rebound, tosses pass to Williams, who delivers monster slam. Sellout crowd jumps three feet in the air. No kidding.
9:05: 4th-QUARTERNOTES from Wolves: "Tonight's sellout crowd of 19,406 is the Wolves' largest opening night crowd in four years."
9:01: On next possession, Rubio sends another snappy pass to Williams who goes behind-the-back dunk.
9:00: Rubio gets his first points as Wolf, sinking two free throws. One point game.
8:59: Barea hits a three-a, closes gap to 78-75.
END OF THIRD QUARTER, THUNDER 78, WOLVES 72 -- Minnesota shooting 42.4%, Oklahoma City shooting 47.5%.
8:52: Ricky Rubio gets second shift of the game, crowd wakes up a bit. Wolves down 73-66.
8:50: Durant taking over game with spinning one-hand layups, etc. He has 24 points to lead Thunder so far.
8:46: This just in from the Gopher Hole: "Former #Gophers PF Kris Humphries has 21pts and 15rebs in season debut."
8:42: After 16-3 run, Thunder stretch it to a 10-point lead, 65-55 with 7:04 left in third quarter.
8:40: Westbrook, Durant and Harden have combined for most of OKC's scoring so far: 51 points.
8:34: Second half under way. Down by five, crowd seems out of it.
8:19: From the Wolves: Key stat so far is Minnesota 1-12 on 3 pointers, 6 turnovers.
8:16 END OF 2ND QUARTER: THUNDER 52, WOLVES 46 -- Minnesota shooting 38.3%, Oklahoma City shooting 40%.
8:06: Durant slam gives Thunder 46-41 lead with 3:30 to go in first half. Crowd in a brief lull.
7:50: Sick Rubio to Williams pass. Crowd nuts for Ricky.
7:44: END OF 1ST QUARTER: WOLVES 24, THUNDER 23 -- Minnesota shooting 36.4%, Oklahoma City 27.3%
7:43: Rookie Derrick Williams makes his Wolves' debut. Another standing ovation.
7:35: Ricky Rubio gets standing ovation as he gets his first minutes of the game. Video scoreboard shows quick interview with Rubio, where he mentions his favorite movies are anything with Will Smith, and his nickname is "Richard." Howl-O-Meter? How about Cute-O-Meter? (Yes, we just wrote that line.)
7:26: Make it 13-10 after Beasley jams one in on a fast break.
7:25: Goaltending on OKC, Love gets bucket, and Wolves take 11-10 lead.
7:24: J.J. Barea enters game, immediately draws foul. Crowd electric.
7:21: Tweet from Star Tribune Wovles beat writer Jerry Zgoda: "Wolves printed up standing-room only tickets tonight, looks like they needed them...."
7:16: Kevin Love hits a free throw after getting fouled to give the Wolves their first point of the night.
7:13: Tip-off, following another pitch from T-Wolves arena announcer for fans to get loud.
7:10: Rubio introduced, gets OK pop. Kevin Love gets biggest pop.
7:06: The lights go out. Timberwolves introductions. Eminem's "Lose Yourself" is the theme-song of the moment:
7:00:FSN Girls, if you haven't met them yet.
6:56: FSN Girls Tweet: "Who will guard Durant tonight?!" Are they volunteering?
6:47: Wolves take court for pre-game shootaround. Energy level jumps big-time. Or maybe it's because they cranked the rap music level to ear-split-ville. Can't tell.
6:43: T-Wolves floor announcer asked crowd to get loud. Dull roar with building half full. Late-arriving throng.
6:14 p.m.: Scalpers outside looking for tickets as well as selling tickets. Bottom line: $40 will get you a nosebleed seat. A StubHub check on Christmas night showed 117 seats available, starting at $30.
6:01 p.m.: A quick tale about PARKING DOWNTOWN. B Ramp: $10, C Ramp: $9, A teeny parking lot behind C Ramp in the shadow of Target Field: $2. Winning!