Eric Peterson, Published October 10 2012
Timberwolves win exhibition opener before 9,163 Fargodome fans
A key offseason signing for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Roy scored 13 points to help his team earn an 84-70 victory against the Indiana Pacers in NBA exhibition play before 9,163 fans.
The game was the preseason opener for both teams and Roy’s first game with the Timberwolves.
“It was just good to be back out there playing,” said Roy, who hadn’t played in an NBA game in more than a year.
Roy sat out last season with knee issues, announcing his retirement after the 2010-11 season. The 6-foot-6 guard decided to return to the NBA and signed a two-year, $10.4 million contract with the Timberwolves in July.
“We wanted to give him a run,” Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman said. “He was fine. He’s a smart player. He got through it. He said he felt good.”
Roy played close to 24 minutes and didn’t see the court in the fourth quarter.
Roy scored eight of his points in the third quarter on 3-for-4 shooting from the field. He scored two of those field goals on smooth drives to the basket, and added a 17-foot pull up jumper. The Timberwolves outscored the Pacers by eight points in the third quarter and built a 69-51 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
“I thought in the third quarter I settled down a lot and was able to find my spots out there where I could get some easy looks,” Roy said. “Once I got into the flow of the game, my offensive game started to come on.”
The Timberwolves started J.J. Barea, Andrei Kirilenko, Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic along with Roy. All five starters played at least 23 minutes. Pekovic and Chase Budinger each finished with 14 points to lead the Timberwolves.
Kirilenko, Budinger, rookie Alexey Shved and Roy were among Minnesota’s key acquisitions in the offseason. Each had their flashes in the preseason opener.
A 6-foot-9 small forward, Kirilenko gave the Wolves a defensive presence with three steals and a blocked shot. Budinger drained two 3-pointers, including a 4-point play. Shved had four assists, including a highlight alley-oop to Derrick Williams in transition.
“I think chemistry will not be a problem with this group,” Adelman said.
While Shved was 0-for-4 from the field against the Pacers, Kirilenko said he should provide some scoring for the Wolves. Kirilenko and Shved were teammates on the Russian National Team in this past Olympics.
“He knows how to play the game,” Kirilenko said of Shved. “He’s a fearless shooter. He’s not afraid to take the ball in the crunch moment. This is very important for NBA style of basketball.”
The Timberwolves are now 3-4 in exhibition games played in Fargo, including a 3-3 record at the Fargodome. Love appreciated the fan support.
“It’s nice that many people here are supporting us and we hope we gave them a good show,” Love said.
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