NBA: Timberwolves hand Warriors damaging defeat

Field Level Media, Reuters

Posted at Apr 30 2021 01:49 PM

NBA: Timberwolves hand Warriors damaging defeat 1
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) posts up while Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) defends in the second half at Target Center. Jesse Johnson, USA Today Sports via Reuters

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 22 points and came through during a crucial fourth-quarter stretch Thursday night, propelling the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 126-114 win over the Golden State Warriors in Minneapolis.

Ricky Rubio scored 26 points and Anthony Edwards added 25, helping Minnesota (20-44) build a four-game win streak for the first time since November 2018.

The loss was a costly one for the playoff-hopeful Warriors (31-32), who not only lost ground in their attempt to move up in the Western Conference standings, but also fell a half-game closer to the New Orleans Pelicans in their duel for the 10th and final postseason play-in position.

The Pelicans played at Oklahoma City later in the evening.

After trailing most of the way, the Warriors used 16 third-quarter points from Stephen Curry to take a two-point lead into the final period.

A hoop by Andrew Wiggins drew Golden State even at 99-all with 8:41 left, and another at the 5:24 mark kept the Warriors within 109-107 before Towns led a Minnesota pull-away.

The big man hit two free throws and then a 3-pointer, and when Juancho Hernangomez buried the Timberwolves' 20th trey of the night, all of a sudden the hosts had built a 117-107 advantage with just 4:12 to go.

Attempting to sweep the three-game season series from the Timberwolves, Golden State got no closer than six the rest of the way.

Towns added a team-high 11 rebounds as well as seven assists for the Timberwolves, whose 20 3-pointers came on just 41 attempts.

Rubio shot 5-for-8 from long distance to account for a majority of his points, while Towns, Edwards and Hernangomez sank three treys apiece.

Naz Reid added 13 points off the bench for Minnesota, which outrebounded Golden State, 57-34.

Curry finished with a game-high 37 points for the Warriors, who were opening a four-game trip that features two games against New Orleans next week. Curry also found time for a team-high eight assists.

In his first return to Minneapolis since being traded to the Warriors last season, Wiggins totaled 27 points. Golden State's Draymond Green and Mychal Mulder went for 11 points apiece, and Kent Bazemore had 10 to complement a team-high 10 rebounds.