Martell Webster sank the long two-pointer, and with 27 seconds left it seemed the Wolves had a shot, trailing 115-113 to the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
But then Kurt Rambis' club made a fatal mistake: they didn't foul.
So with two seconds left, after a missed shot, Corey Brewer tipped the ball out of bounds.
It was a painful ending for a game that the Timberwolves played the comeback role.
Down 20 in the middle of the third quarter, they fought hard and almost made it back to a tie before the buzzer sounded.
They outscored the Nuggets 38-27 in the fourth quarter.
Kevin Love had a career-high in points, totalling 43, but it didn't prove enough.
He also had 17 rebounds for his 14th consecutive double-double.
Michael Beasley had 17 for the Wolves, and injury-returners Martell Webster and Jonny Flynn had 12 apiece.
Kosta Koufos started for Darko Milicic, who injured his ankle in a Friday loss to the Trail Blazers.
Carmelo Anthony had 24 for the Nuggets, and Ty Lawson chipped in 23 points and nine assists.
Aaron Afflalo, the fifth-year man from UCLA, also had 17 points.
"[Love] played brilliant," Denver guard J.R. Smith said. "Everything is in flow and is in motion. He's never rushing anything. He gets good shots and he gets other players open. He's a heck of a player."
Smith also noted that the Timberwolves will be a team of note in the future.
However, it isn't the future yet.
It just wasn't to be for the Wolves on Saturday night, and it may have been the last time they play Carmelo in a Nuggets uniform, and he made the most of it.