Afterward, Adelman praised his players for persevering.
"In this league you've got to be mentally tough enough to get through it," he said. "You've got to find a way to win. I hope it's a big boost for us."
Irving, whose late-game heroics have led Cleveland to some recent wins, tried to rally the Cavs but couldn't. He had two bad misses and a turnover in a three-minute stretch.
Still, the Cavs were within striking distance when Thompson made two free throws to pulled Cleveland within 92-89 with 1:56 remaining. But Ridnour, who always seems to play well against Cleveland, buried his key 3-pointer from the right side and hit another short jumper with 9 seconds left to cap just Minnesota's second win in 12 games.
Derrick Williams had 13 points and Mickael Gelabale and Alexey Shved added 11 apiece for the Timberwolves.
Irving rolled his left ankle late in the first half when he landed on Shved's foot after making a 3-pointer. Irving hopped around in obvious pain but stayed in the game for a few more seconds. He was then replaced and limped to the locker room for treatment.
Irving played his usual minutes in the second half. He was not available following the game, and was seen getting treatment in the trainer's room.
Notes: Irving said he hasn't given much thought to he and LeBron James some day playing together. James can opt out of his contract after the 2014 season and there has been speculation he might return to Cleveland. "The potential is endless if it ever did happen," Irving said. "Obviously, I would be 22 and still a young guy." Irving said he and James "talk often." ... Wolves G J.J. Barea played 15 minutes after missing Sunday's game with a sprained left foot. Minnesota was also without Andrei Kirilenko (strained quad), F Chase Budinger (knee surgery), G Brandon Roy (knee) and G Malcolm Lee (knee, hip surgery).