With the Thunder clinging to a two-point lead, Perkins hauled down the rebound of a potential game-tying shot by Minnesota's Michael Beasley, drew a foul and then drained a pair of free throws with 3 seconds left to ice victory in the season opener for the Timberwolves.
Minnesota had cut its deficit to two points when Kevin Love hit Derrick Williams with a pass and Williams slammed it through with 43 seconds left.
The Timberwolves endured a narrow loss in the debuts of head Coach Rick Adelman and guard Ricky Rubio, who was held to six points with six assists and five rebounds.
Beasley netted 24 points and Love added 22 with 12 rebounds for the T-Wolves.
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