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The Minnesota Timberwolves faced a big challenge on Wednesday night but in an intense matchup, Minnesota came up short, falling 125-116 against the Phoenix Suns.

The Timberwolves set the tone early, opening the game with a 15-4 run. Although Phoenix made their move with three 3-pointers from Landry Shamet, Minnesota held onto the lead thanks to an offensive outburst from Jaylen Nowell.

An eight-point run by Nowell helped the Timberwolves take an 11-point lead in the second quarter. But the game escalated late in the first half when Karl-Anthony Towns posterized Jae Crowder.

Towns' poster slam irritated Crowder, who got tangled up with Towns on the following possession. Both players were assessed double technicals as the Target Center crowd was treated to "The Ref Show."

Five technical fouls were called between the final minute of the first half and the end of the third quarter. Towns, Crowder, Chris Finch, DeAndre Ayton and Jarred Vanderbilt were all T'd up during that span and the physicality continued in the fourth quarter.

Phoenix took its first lead of the night when Towns was called for a flagrant foul with 8:35 to play. The Timberwolves made it a 104-103 game on a Malik Beasley 3-pointer with 5:53 to go but the Suns showed why they own the best record in the NBA.

On a night where Chris Paul was sidelined with a thumb injury, the Phoenix used a 17-4 run and a Devin Booker slam (complete with a technical foul) to put Minnesota away and end its six-game home winning streak.

The Timberwolves (42-32) will look to rebound on Friday night when they host another big game with the Dallas Mavericks.

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