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Down 6 players, Wolves come close but fall short to NBA-leading Bucks

It was a good battle, but the Bucks came out on top.

Without Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins again, the Timberwolves put up a huge fight against the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks

Trailing 106-104 with 13.6 seconds to play in the game, the Wolves had the ball and a chance to tie or take the lead only to struggle to get a clean look as Gorgui Dieng's long jumper clanked off the iron. 

Milwaukee missed one of two free throws but with only 1.1 seconds to go, Minnesota couldn't get off a full-court prayer after Robert Covington grabbed the rebound. 

The Bucks, 17-2 at home, own the NBA's best mark at 31-5. The Wolves fall to 12-21 overall and 8-10 on the road. Minnesota began the season 7-4 but has since lost 17 of 22 games. Despite a miserable December, the Wolves find themselves only two games out of a playoff spot. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 32 points and 17 rebounds. 

Shabazz Napier's 22 points led seven Wolves in double figures: 

  • Gorgui Dieng - 15 points
  • Josh Okogie - 12 points
  • Jaylen Nowell - 12 points
  • Naz Reid - 11 points
  • Jarrett Culver - 10 points
  • Keita Bates-Diop - 10 points

Towns (knee) missed his eighth consecutive game and Wiggins (flu-like symptoms) missed his fourth straight contest. Minnesota was also without Jeff Teague, Jake Layman, Treveon Graham and Noah Vonleh. 

Minnesota is back in action at Target Center Thursday against the Golden State Warriors at 7 p.m. 

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