Timberwolves go to Towns in big win over Dallas
MINNEAPOLIS—Karl-Anthony Towns had 34 points and 11 rebounds and the Minnesota Timberwolves held on despite losing another big lead for a 101-92 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night.
Andrew Wiggins scored 13 points and Ricky Rubio added 13 points and a season-high 15 assists for Minnesota, which snapped a four-game losing streak in a battle of teams at the bottom of the Western Conference standings.
The Timberwolves (12-26) overcame 18 turnovers by shooting 56.3 percent from the field and outrebounding the Mavericks 42-25.
Harrison Barnes scored 30 points for the Mavericks (11-27), who have lost six of their past eight games. Dirk Nowitzki added 26 points, hitting a season-high five 3-pointers.
The Timberwolves blew another double-digit lead in the second. Minnesota has lost 12 games this season after leading by 10 or more points.
A Nowitzki 3-pointer ended a 9-1 run to close the Mavericks within three points in the third quarter, the closest Dallas came in the second half. Towns was called for two offensive fouls during the run.
But Towns scored the final four points of the third quarter, finishing with eight points, six rebounds and three blocks in the third.
The Timberwolves extended the lead back to double digits in the fourth quarter and never relinquished it.
Towns single-handedly put Minnesota on top in the first quarter. He scored 20 of the team's 33 points in the first 12 minutes, the second time in his career he has scored at least 20 points in a quarter. He outscored Dallas, which finished the quarter with 19 points.
The Mavericks answered after halftime with Nowitzki hitting from the outside. The 18-year veteran hung out by the 3-point line and was open several times as the Timberwolves' defense collapsed. Nowitzki had nine points on 3-of-4 shooting from 3-point range in the quarter to shrink the lead to seven points.
Only Brooklyn (1-17) has a worse road record than Dallas.
Minnesota's seventh home win of the season ties Dallas, Denver, Phoenix and Sacramento for the fewest in the West, though the Timberwolves have played more home games than each of the other teams.
NOTES: Minnesota G Zach LaVine left the game in the fourth quarter with a left hip injury and did not return. ... Dallas started Deron Williams, Wesley Matthews, Harrison Barnes, Dirk Nowitzki and Andrew Bogut for the second straight game. The five were the team's starting lineup at the beginning of the season before injuries took their toll. The group is 0-6 as starters. ... Minnesota F Gorgui Dieng is one of five players shooting more than 50 percent from the field this season while also averaging at least one block and one steal per game. Steven Adams, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Andre Drummond and Kevin Durant are the others. ... The Mavericks have won 29 of 38 regular-season meetings between the teams. ... Dallas has made at least seven 3-pointers in each of its last 27 games, the longest streak in team history. ... The Mavericks' road trip continues in Mexico City. Dallas will face Phoenix, the home team for the game, on Thursday. The Timberwolves host Houston on Wednesday.