Karl-Anthony Towns scored 28 points and Rudy Gobert posted 26 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots as the Minnesota duo spearheaded a relentless fourth quarter in the Timberwolves’ 123-117 victory against the host Charlotte Hornets in the NBA in-season match yesterday (Philippine time).
Naz Reid had 23 points on 9-for-14 shooting off the bench. Mike Conley delivered 14 points and 10 assists, and reserve Kyle Anderson added 11 points as the Timberwolves won their fourth consecutive game and their seventh in the past eight.
Minnesota played its second game in a row without team scoring leader Anthony Edwards, who has a hip injury.
Towns shot 12-for-23 from the field and chipped in seven rebounds and five assists.
Gobert was 10-for-12 shooting, and the Timberwolves shot 51.2 percent from the field and made 26 for 30 of their free throws.
Terry Rozier’s 23 points and Miles Bridges’ 22 paced the Hornets.
P.J. Washington hit four three-pointers off the bench on the way to 18 points.
Gordon Hayward had 17, Brandon Miller returned after missing a game with an ankle injury to rack up 14 points, and Mark Williams had 11.
Ish Smith came off the Charlotte bench to score on a couple of fourth-quarter layups as the game stayed close, but that wasn’t enough to withstand the offense provided by Gobert and Towns.
Gobert drained three of four free-throw attempts as the Timberwolves went up 108-106, but Rozier’s three-pointer put the Hornets ahead on their next possession.
Troy Brown, Jr.’s long three-pointer, Conley’s layup and Towns’ basket from the lane gave Minnesota a 7-0 run in 60 seconds.
Then, with the Hornets closing within 115-112, Conley converted a three-point play with 44.1 seconds to play. He had eight points in the final 2:32.
The Hornets were within 88-87 through three quarters.
Gobert and Towns helped keep Minnesota within a basket or two with a series of scoring plays.
The Timberwolves led 62-59 at halftime and built a 10-point spread in the first three minutes of the second half. (Field Level Media / Reuters)