MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota – Montenegro’s Nikola Pekovic scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds to spark Minnesota over Dallas 114-106 in overtime Saturday as Ricky Rubio made a triumphant return.
Spain’s Rubio, a point guard, suffered torn left knee ligaments last March and had not played since, but excited a sellout crowd by scoring eight points, grabbing four rebounds and dishing out nine assists in 19 minutes on the court.
The 22-year-old had been a star for a Spanish side that even without him pushed the US NBA stars in the past two Olympic men’s basketball finals.
Russian Alexey Shved, who made a star turn at this year’s London Olympics much like the one Rubio had in 2008 at Beijing, scored 18 points and added six assists for Minnesota. Derrick Williams had 16 points and six rebounds.
The T-Wolves won their fourth game in a row, improving to 12-9, while the Mavericks fell to 11-13.
Minnesota’s Luke Ridnour scored 15 points while Russian Andrei Kirilenko added 14 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota.
O.J. Mayo and Derek Fisher each scored 20 points for Dallas, which lost for the third game in a row.