Minneapolis, MN – Luke Ridnour made three clutch free throws with less than 20 seconds to play, as the Minnesota Timberwolves held off the slumping Detroit Pistons, 107-101, on Saturday to give coach Rick Adelman his 1,000th career NBA victory.
Adelman now joins a list which includes Don Nelson, Lenny Wilkens, Pat Riley, Jerry Sloan, Phil Jackson, Larry Brown and George Karl, with the historic win.
"It's been a tough, tough road with everything going on with our team this year. You don't know how hard it is to win games sometimes. I'm so glad for our players, our fans and our coaching staff," Adelman said. "A lot of games behind us, but could not have been a better support. It's something I never aspired to, never thought about, but I'm glad I got it."
Nikola Pekovic scored 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Jose Juan Barea also had 20 to go along with six assists for the Timberwolves, who have won three of four.
Andrei Kirilenko and Dante Cunningham chipped in 13 points apiece and Derrick Williams had 14 in the victory.
Brandon Knight scored 25 points to lead Detroit, which has dropped 15 of 17. Rodney Stuckey netted 20 points and grabbed eight boards and Greg Monroe donated 16 points in the setback.
Minnesota led 61-55 at the break, though the visitors grabbed the lead at the 7:54 mark of the third with Kyle Singler's three-point play.
However, the Timberwolves answered with 10 straight points to regain control before taking an 81-78 edge into the fourth.
Cunningham made 1-of-2 free throws early in the fourth to make it a five-point game and Barea added to it shortly after with a triple to increase the edge to 93-87.
Knight brought the visitors within 102-101 with a driving layup with 44.2 seconds remaining.
Ridnour drove the lane with 19.7 seconds left and created contact for a foul. He made both shots to push the margin to four points and then Pekovic secured the win by nailing two free throws with 5.5 ticks to play.
The Timberwolves jumped out to a 33-25 lead after the first 12 minutes of play and Williams had 14 points.
Detroit battled back in the second quarter to take a 43-42 edge on Jonas Jerebko's triple, though the home team later broke a 50-50 tie with an 11-5 surge to head into the break up 61-55.
"It's phenomenal. It's unbelievable. I will say it for the millionth time, he was one of the most underrated coaches in this game. He is a phenomenal teacher. For him to do it at every single stop with the consistency he has done, he is a tremendous coach," Pistons head coach Lawrence Frank said of Adelman.
Detroit is 10-29 on the road this season ... Adelman is now 1,000-703 all-time in his 22-year coaching career ... Pistons' guard Jose Calderon returned to the court after missing the previous contest with a sore right arm ... Detroit had 24 turnovers resulting in 25 Minnesota points, while the Timberwolves had 15 giveaways which equaled 22 Detroit points.