Kevin Love produced a big game for the Timberwolves, who ended a two-game slide and handed the Hornets their fifth loss in six home games this season. Love scored 34 points and pulled down 15 rebounds.
Minnesota hit just 34 percent of its shots from the field, but made 33-of-38 from the line -- Love leading the way with 17 free throws in 18 attempts.
The Hornets' Marco Belinelli hit a 3-pointer with 2:03 remaining that tied the game at 78-78.
Minnesota then ran off its seven straight points and New Orleans could not score again until just 17 seconds were left in the game.
Rubio, making his first NBA start, scored 12 points along with nine assists. New Orleans was led by Belinelli with 20 points.