Towns, Bjelica ignite late rally in Timberwolves win

Annette Crawford
January 13, 2018

Jimmy Butler scored 26 points, Karl-Anthony Towns scored his league-leading 35th double-double this season with 18 points and 12 rebounds and the Minnesota Timberwolves continued their strong run of positive results with a 104-88 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Nemanja Bjelica opened it with a three-pointer, hit another shortly thereafter and the Wolves just kept rolling, building a lead as big as 19.

The teams battled on near-even terms for three quarters, with the Timberwolves taking just an 87-86 lead into the final period. Tim Hardaway Jr. returned for the first time in 20 games and he showcased his offensive skills with 16 points in 24 minutes.

Jeff Teague was rusty once again (3-11 FG, 1-6 3P), but overall played a solid game with four steals and eight assists.

Kanter (12 rebounds) and Porzingis (10) recorded double-doubles for the Knicks. Kristaps Porzingis had 17 points and 10 rebounds. The Wolves' perimeter defense was just a step slow in this one, and the Knicks made them pay, which allowed them to hang around until the very end of the game.

Eight of the nine Timberwolves players that appeared in the game scored 10 or more points.

Still, the Knicks shot 13-for-19 in the quarter, with the Wolves staying close thanks to the Wolves scoring seven points on three Knicks turnovers in the quarter.

Statistically Speaking: The Timberwolves scored 64 points in the paint and tallied 21 second chance points. The Clippers would've also needed to create another roster spot for the hypothetical incoming third Timberwolves player. Three minutes later, after he'd added a layup to his point total, he buried another 3-pointer, making it a 13-3 Minnesota run that ballooned the lead to 100-89.

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