NBA: Celtics beat Timberwolves to snap four-game losing streak

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at May 16 2021 09:58 AM

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) shoots a 3-pointer as Minnesota Timberwolves forward Josh Okogie (20) looks on during the 3rd quarter at Target Center. Nick Wosika, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Jayson Tatum scored 26 points and pulled down 11 rebounds Saturday afternoon to help the Boston Celtics snap a four-game losing streak with a 124-108 win over the host Minnesota Timberwolves.

Evan Fournier added 18 points and six assists and Luke Kornet had 12 points and six boards for Boston (36-35). Payton Pritchard and Grant Williams each scored 11 for the Celtics, who swept their two-game season series with Minnesota.

Boston wraps up the regular season Sunday against the Knicks in New York.

The seventh-place Celtics will then host the Eastern Conference's eighth-place finisher in a play-in game on Tuesday night for the right to earn the No. 7 seed in the playoffs.

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Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves (22-49) with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Anthony Edwards extended his franchise rookie record with his 35th game with 20 or more points, finishing with 23, six assists and three steals.

Minnesota lost its second straight game and has dropped four of its last six. The Timberwolves conclude their season Sunday night at home against Dallas.

Boston was without five players due to injury during Saturday's game. Jaylen Brown (left scapholunate surgery), Kemba Walker (left cervical nerve irritation), Marcus Smart (right calf contusion), Robert Williams (left foot turf toe) and Tristan Thompson (left pectoral strain) were all sidelines.

The Timberwolves jumped out to a seven-point lead early in the first quarter, but it quickly evaporated as the Celtics pulled ahead 37-26 after one. Boston never trailed after that and led by as many as 23 points.

The game featured the two teams that Kevin Garnett spent the majority of his career with leading to his enshrinement in the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., on Saturday night.

Garnett spent his first 12 NBA seasons with the Timberwolves before playing the next six in Boston and winning his lone NBA championship in 2008.

"I think it's well-documented: what he did was more than how he played," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said before the game.

"His energy, his relentlessness, his demanding of excellence across the board from his team. Everybody that talks about those teams obviously talks about all the talent that they had, but that he was the spiritual guy that put them over the top every single day."

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