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Timberwolves edge Lakers 112-111

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With heavy hearts and occupied minds, the Minnesota Timberwolves hung on to win one for Flip.

Ricky Rubio had a career-high 28 points and 14 assists and the Timberwolves rallied from a 16-point deficit in the second half to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 112-111 Wednesday night in their first game since Flip Saunders' death.

When Lou Williams somehow missed a 4-foot runner at the buzzer, Minnesota hugged and celebrated a fortunate break in a cathartic victory. Kevin Martin scored 23 points for the Timberwolves three days after they lost Saunders, the longtime coach and team president who battled Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Saunders' recent death and a pregame moment of silence put both teams in a somber mood in their season opener. Both wore warmup shirts honoring the coach. The Timberwolves' shirts bore the slogan "WE," while the Lakers' said "FLIP."

Minnesota led 111-102 with 2:11 left, but the Lakers finished on a 9-1 run. Williams hit a 3-pointer with 31 seconds left to trim Minnesota's lead to one point. Martin missed a jumper before Williams missed his leaner.

Kevin Garnett had four points and seven rebounds to begin his 21st NBA season, becoming just the third player in league history to last that long. Garnett, who was persuaded to return to Minnesota by Saunders last season, left the locker room without speaking to reporters.

While No. 1 draft choice Towns had a solid debut for Minnesota, No. 2 pick D'Angelo Russell had four points and three turnovers in a quieter debut for the Lakers.

Kobe Bryant scored 24 points in the first game of his 20th season with the Lakers, breaking John Stockton's NBA record for the most seasons with one team. Bryant largely appeared to be his usual spry and aggressive self in his first game since January after his third straight season ended early due to injury, but he missed his final eight shots down the stretch as Minnesota rallied.

Results: LA Clippers 111 beat Sacramento Kings 104; New Orleans Pelicans 94 lost to Portland Trailblazers 112; Dallas Mavericks 111 beat Phoenix Suns 95; San Antonio Spurs 106 lost to Oklahoma City Thunder 112; New York Knicks 122 beat Milwaukee Bucks 97; Denver Nuggets 105 beat Houston Rockets 85; Indiana Pacers 99 lost to Toronto Raptors 106; Charlotte Bobcats 94 lost to Miami Heat 104; Utah Jazz 87 lost to Detroit Pistons 92; Chicago Bulls 115 beat Brooklyn Nets 100; Philadelphia 76ers 95 lost to Boston Celtics 112