Minnesota Timberwolves 112
New Orleans Pelicans 110
The Timberwolves gutted out a close victory over the New Orleans Pelicans tonight at the Smoothie King Center, with wing Andrew Wiggins scoring the go-ahead free-throws and forward Gorgui Dieng making a diving for a steal to seal the win for Minnesota. The Pelicans held the lead for the majority of the game, leading by as much as 14 points during 3rd quarter.
While Davis is away, KAT will play
Rookie big man Karl-Anthony Towns took full advantage of a depleted New Orleans frontcourt, who lost their star power forward Anthony Davis to a last-minute foot injury during pre-game shootaround. Without Davis guarding the paint, Towns was able to run wild, putting together his 33rd double-double of the season with 30 points and 15 rebounds on an efficient 13-20 shooting. KAT also put in work on the defensive side of the ball, blocking a shot and grabbing two steals, including this steal, where Towns jumped into the passing lane and ran downcourt for the jam.
Tyus Jones plays hard off the bench
Minnesota-native Tyus Jones has been seeing more playing time since veteran backup Andre Miller departed for the Spurs earlier this week. While he struggled to keep up with the larger, more physical JaRue Holiday on defense, Tyus seemed much more confident leading the offense for the Wolves' second unit. Jones, one of the league's youngest rookies, had 7 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds in just under 13 minutes. Jones also provided a pair of crucial three-pointers for a shooting-starved offense, including this buzzer-beater to end the first quarter.
Second-half benching inspires LaVine
After earning another crack at the starting lineup over shooting guard Kevin Martin, Zach LaVine was quiet in the first half, scoring only 4 points and getting carved up on defense by New Orleans' backcourt tandem of Norris Cole and Eric Gordon. Head coach Sam Mitchell opted for a swap at halftime, starting Shabazz Muhammad for the 3rd quarter over LaVine, and when the dunk contest champ checked back in, he looked fired up. LaVine finished the game with 25 points on 11 of 17 shooting, including two crucial makes from behind the arc.
Tweet of the Night
Gorgui with the last-second steal to take the win for the Timberwolves.
Timberwolves travel to Dallas (31-28) tomorrow night, tip-off is at 6pm.