Timberwolves hold off Suns
MINNEAPOLIS -- Two days after blowing a lead late, the Minnesota Timberwolves held onto a late advantage to escape with an NBA win.Minnesota pulled away late to beat the Phoenix Suns 115-108 on Monday at Target Center. The win for the Timberwolve...
MINNEAPOLIS - Two days after blowing a lead late, the Minnesota Timberwolves held onto a late advantage to escape with an NBA win.
Minnesota pulled away late to beat the Phoenix Suns 115-108 on Monday at Target Center. The win for the Timberwolves came two days after they let a 12-point lead slip away with just over two minutes to play against Houston. The Rockets eventually won that game in overtime.
On Monday, Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns scored 28 points and grabbed 15 boards for his 18th double-double of the season - and his eighth straight. Andrew Wiggins had 26 points in the win, and Zach LaVine chipped in 23 points.
Eric Bledsoe led all Suns scorers with 27 points on 9-of-20 shooting. Brandon Knight scored 21 points off the bench in the loss.
The Timberwolves refused to let another lead slip away, going on a 10-2 run late to close out Monday’s victory. Minnesota improved to 8-19, while Phoenix fell to 8-20.
Minnesota led by as many as 14 points in the first half before allowing Phoenix to get back into the ballgame. Knight paced the Suns early, scoring 12 points in the first half to trim Minnesota’s lead from 14 down to 62-54 at halftime.
Bledsoe and Devin Booker helped the Suns cut the deficit to just four points after three quarters as the Wolves led 91-87 heading into the fourth.
Bledsoe continued his hot hand into the fourth quarter, scoring on a layup that brought Phoenix to within four with 5:13 remaining. Booker then hit a jumper to make it a two-point game at 105-103.
Towns responded with a three-point play after grabbing his own miss, giving Minnesota a five-point cushion with 3:21 to play. LaVine later hit a 3-pointer to make it a 111-104 contest with under three minutes to go.
Minnesota closed out the 10-2 run with a Towns layup that forced Phoenix to call a timeout with 1:34 to play, trailing 115-105.
Free throws were crucial for Minnesota on Monday. The Timberwolves finished 24 of 25 at the free-throw line. It wasn’t until nearly four minutes into the fourth quarter that Minnesota missed its first attempt at the foul line after previously going 22 for 22.
NOTES: Third-year G Zach LaVine leads the Timberwolves in minutes this season. Coach Tom Thibodeau said part of that has to do with LaVine’s improvement on defense. “I like the way he’s progressing,” Thibodeau said. “Zach, I think, is growing a lot defensively.” ... The NBA announced Monday that, for the first time ever, NBA players as well as media members will be able to vote for the starting lineups for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game. Voting begins Christmas Day and concludes Jan. 16. The 2017 All-Star Game will be held Feb. 19 in New Orleans. ... Minnesota goes on the road for a one-game trip to face Atlanta on Wednesday. ... The Suns return home after two games away from Talking Stick Resort Arena to host the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.