Nets 99, Timberwolves 96
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) _ Minnesota’s top draft pick, Christian Laettner, scored eight points in his first NBA action Thursday night as the New Jersey Nets beat the Timberwolves 99-96 in an NBA exhibition game.
Laettner, who signed a $21.6 million contract Wednesday, also had two rebounds as well as five fouls and three turnovers in 23 minutes.
Laettner, who led Duke to its second straight NCAA title last season, seemed confused at times in the first half, but played more aggressively in the second. With 5:52 left in the game, he left the Nets’ Chris Morris flat- footed on a spectacular spin move for a layup that gave the Timberwolves a 90-83 lead.
Derrick Coleman led the Nets with 26 points, including a 3-point play that pulled New Jersey within 86-83 with 7:51 left in the game. Kenny Anderson hit two free throws with 2:14 left to tie the game 94-94.
Laettner fouled Jayson Williams with 56 seconds left and Williams hit his first free throw for a 95-94 lead, the Nets’ first since 11-10.
Williams missed his second free throw but Chuck Brown rebounded and scored to give the Nets a 97-94 lead.
The Timberwolves got a last chance to tie the game after a turnover by Anderson, but a jumper by Person, who led Minnesota with 25 points, bounced off the rim.