NBA: Bulls edge Timberwolves despite Towns' 40-point effort

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jan 23 2020 12:13 PM

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) goes to the basket against Chicago Bulls forward Luke Kornet (2) during the first half at United Center. Kamil Krzaczynski, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Zach LaVine scored 25 points -- including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:26 to go -- and Cristiano Felicio notched a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds to lift the host Chicago Bulls past the slumping Minnesota Timberwolves 117-110 on Wednesday night.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored a game-high 40 points and Andrew Wiggins followed with 25 for Minnesota, but it wasn't enough as the Timberwolves suffered their seventh straight defeat.

Minnesota trailed by 19 points midway through the second quarter but rallied to take a 69-68 lead on a long Wiggins 3-pointer with 6:11 left in the third.

Chicago took an 81-79 lead into the fourth, but the Timberwolves stuck around despite shooting just 13 of 24 from the free-throw line.

Towns converted a three-point play with 2:15 to go to give Minnesota a 108-106 lead, but the visitors went cold after that, as Chicago closed the night on an 11-2 run to earn its second win in three games.

Lauri Markkanen followed LaVine with 21 points and hit four treys to become the 13th player in league history with 100 made 3-pointers in his first three NBA seasons. Luke Kornet (15 points), Kris Dunn (14) and Coby White (12) also finished in double figures for Chicago.

Shabazz Napier scored 16 points for Minnesota, which was outrebounded 50-43.

Referees whistled Dunn for a technical foul for shoving Napier after play had stopped with 2:31 remaining in the second quarter.

Minnesota, which trailed by 14 at that juncture, responded by closing the half on a 12-5 run. Napier figured into another notable sequence down the stretch of the half, hitting all three free throws after LaVine fouled him on a long-range attempt with 0.3 seconds remaining to pull Minnesota within 59-52 at the break.

Chicago shot 23 of 47 (48.9 percent) in the first half but struggled from beyond the arc, making just 3 of 14 from 3-point range. Minnesota was 17 of 38 (44.7 percent) in the first 24 minutes, including 8 of 20 from deep.

The Timberwolves had just three turnovers in the second quarter after committing nine in the first.

Towns had 22 first-half points on 8-for-10 shooting en route to his eighth 30-point game of the season.

Chicago snapped a three-game losing streak against Minnesota.

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