Did he ever.
Love scored 16 points on 7-for-12 shooting in the first quarter, an incredibly fluid performance considering his long layoff. Barea and Pekovic returned from injuries as well, and the Wolves led by 17 points in the first half, but Iguodala, Love's Olympic teammate, helped Denver come roaring back in the third quarter.
Still, Love said he didn't feel like his normal self over nearly 35 minutes. He missed six free throws and was just 2 for 9 from 3-point range and was constantly flexing his hand to work out some of the residual pain.
"I haven't even practiced, so I just kind of threw myself into the game hoping something good was going to happen," Love said. "I missed some free throws, missed some 3s that I don't usually miss. A lot of those could have saved us the game."
Iguodala hit three 3-pointers and then unleashing a spin move in transition and a dunk over two Timberwolves to tie the game at 67. Lawson added another from long range and Faried threw down a dunk that gave the Nuggets a 92-87 lead with 2:41 to play, and Denver was able to hold on.
Andre Miller scored all 11 of his points in the fourth quarter for Denver.
"I saw him shooting before the game and I didn't think he was playing, but they said he was playing before the game," Iguodala said. "The whole thing is the NBA is about adjustments anyway. ... That's good that our team was able to adjust to his presence. He started off great and then we had to adjust and try to slow him down a little bit in the second half."
NOTES: Faried had just four points before fouling out. ... Love picked up a technical foul in the third quarter for tossing former teammate Kosta Koufos to the ground after they got tangled up underneath the basket. ... Timberwolves PG Luke Ridnour picked up a rare technical foul in the third quarter for gesturing after a foul call from referee Danny Crawford. ... Crawford gave Faried a technical for the same thing later in the period.