Milwaukee is coming off a tough 96-95 loss in Charlotte last night, as Brandon Jennings scored 22 points on 21 shots to lead the Bucks, who got 17 points and nine rebounds from center Andrew Bogut and shot just 37 percent from the field in the second half.
Stephen Jackson was acquired from the Bobcats in the offseason and posted only six points before fouling out with 3:56 left in regulation. Shaun Livingston and Beno Udrih scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, and Mike Dunleavy netted 13 points for Milwaukee. The Bucks rallied from a nine-point fourth quarter deficit to twice take a one-point lead in the final two minutes.
"They took it to us in the third quarter and we had a hard time responding," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. "They got all over the offensive glass and we were flat-footed. They were quicker and more athletic. They outplayed us in the third quarter and took control of the game."
The Bucks will play two straight games at home before hitting the road again for five in a row out west. Guard Carlos Delfino (wrist), forward Tobias Harris (dehydration) and forward Luc Mbah a Moute (knee) all missed Monday's game in Charlotte.
Milwaukee opened its season on the road for the 27th straight year. It is 31-12 all-time in home openers, including an 11-2 mark in the last 13.
Minnesota kicked off the season on the road with a 104-100 setback to Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday. Kevin Love posted his usual double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Michael Beasley led the team with 24 points. Rookie Derrick Williams added 13 points and six boards.
Wolves guard Ricky Rubio, a former Euro-League standout, made his NBA debut as well after being selected fifth overall in the 2009 NBA Draft. In just over 26 minutes, the Spanish sensation scored six points, dished out six assists and had no turnovers.
"It was a great start for this team, this game is going to give us a lot of confidence," said Minnesota guard J.J. Barea, who scored 14 points in a reserve role. "If we play like that every night it will give us a chance to win every night."
It was the debut for Minnesota head coach Rick Adelman, who took over for an ineffective Kurt Rambis. Adelman lost his debut even though the Wolves had more points in the paint (60-36), more rebounds (53-47), more second chance points (13-8) and fewer turnovers (12-19).
The Timberwolves will visit Brew City before returning to the Twin Cities for a five-game homestand.
Minnesota and Milwaukee split a pair of meetings last year, with each team holding serve as the host. The Timberwolves have lost two straight and six of seven trips to the Bradley Center.