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Towns has huge night, Minnesota tops Miami 113-104

MIAMI (AP) Karl-Anthony Towns had a perfect day, unlike many Minnesota fans.

His beloved Philadelphia Eagles earned the chance to defend their Super Bowl title - and got that postseason berth because Minnesota lost its season finale, which kept the Vikings from the playoffs.

''Fly Eagles Fly,'' Towns said.

Vikings fans probably weren't thrilled to hear that. Timberwolves fans, after the night Towns had, may forgive him.

Towns' monster game - 34 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists and six blocked shots - led Minnesota past the Miami Heat 113-104 on Sunday night. He became the first player to post such a stat line since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who had 35 points, 19 rebounds, nine assists and eight blocks for the Los Angeles Lakers against Phoenix on Nov. 14, 1975.

''I wanted to make the right plays that we needed to win,'' Towns said. ''I'm glad I was able to make them.''

He made them in bunches.

When Miami cut an 11-point Minnesota lead to two midway through the fourth, Towns took over: a short hook stopped what was a 9-0 Heat run, and was soon followed by a three-point play and then a 3-pointer to restore the 11-point lead. Miami didn't challenge again.

''The stat line was very impressive by itself,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ''But the impact of the timeliness of his plays ... every time it seemed we got it to six, he had a big bucket or a rebound or something that kept their momentum going.''

Robert Covington scored 16 and Taj Gibson added 14 for Minnesota. The Wolves also got 13 apiece from Andrew Wiggins and Dario Saric, while Tyus Jones scored 12.

Dwyane Wade led Miami with 21 points. Josh Richardson scored 17, Derrick Jones Jr. added 16 and Hassan Whiteside grabbed 13 rebounds for the Heat - who ended the 2018 calendar year with a 43-43 record.

''We made strides this month,'' Wade said. ''The loss can take away from the success of this month, but we're making strides. We want to make sure in the new year, we understand how well we can play.''

Miami led only once, and that was for all of 25 seconds. The Heat missed their first eight shots, and gave up 24 points off turnovers.

''I thought our defense was good,'' Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. ''I thought the start of the game was obviously important for us. It's hard to win on the road and this team has been playing great basketball. So it's a good solid win for us.''

TIP-INS

Timberwolves: It was the 13th time Towns has posted at least 30 points and 15 rebounds in a game. Minnesota, somewhat surprisingly, is now only 6-7 in such contests. ... Minnesota forced 20 turnovers, while committing only 11.

Heat: Chris Bosh was back in the stands for a second consecutive game, plus was with Miami at practice on Saturday. ... Miami missed its first eight shots. ... Whiteside got three stitches over his left eye in the first quarter. He returned to the game. ... James Johnson missed the game with an illness. Jones Jr. started in his place, giving Miami its 15th starting lineup in 35 games.

WAITERS CLEARED

Heat guard Dion Waiters returned after two days of practice with Miami's G League affiliate in Sioux Falls, complained about how cold it was there, but more importantly declared himself ready to play again. ''I feel great. You ask those guys out there, I don't think I missed a shot. I'm talking about a lot of deep shots, too,'' Waiters said. He hasn't been in a game for the Heat since Dec. 22, 2017 - but may make his season debut Wednesday in Cleveland.

TWO POINTS

Minnesota was without its two primary point guards: Derrick Rose missed the game with a right ankle sprain, and Jeff Teague missed his seventh consecutive game with left ankle inflammation. Rose hasn't appeared in a game at Miami since Dec. 6, 2016. Also out for Minnesota was Keita Bates-Diop, who was ill.

UP NEXT

Timberwolves: Visit New Orleans on Monday.

Heat: Visit Cleveland on Wednesday.

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1st Quarter

Time Team Play Score
12:00   Jumpball  
11:42   Rodney McGruder missed floating jump shot  
11:39   Defensive rebound by Karl-Anthony Towns  
11:21   Karl-Anthony Towns missed hook shot  
11:16   Defensive rebound by Rodney McGruder  
11:04   Justise Winslow missed driving layup  
11:03   Offensive rebound by Hassan Whiteside  
11:02   Hassan Whiteside missed dunk  
10:59   Offensive rebound by Hassan Whiteside  
10:58   Hassan Whiteside missed dunk  
10:57   Defensive rebound by Tyus Jones  
10:52 +2 Taj Gibson made driving layup, assist by Tyus Jones 2-0
10:24   Andrew Wiggins missed finger-roll layup  
10:22   Defensive rebound by Josh Richardson  
10:08   Shooting foul on Andrew Wiggins  
10:08   Hassan Whiteside missed 1st of 2 free throws  
10:08   MIA team rebound  
10:08 +1 Hassan Whiteside made 2nd of 2 free throws 2-1
9:53   Bad pass turnover on Karl-Anthony Towns, stolen by Justise Winslow  
9:43   Justise Winslow missed fade-away jump shot  
9:43   Defensive rebound by Robert Covington  
9:37   Bad pass turnover on Tyus Jones, stolen by Justise Winslow  
9:26   Out of bounds turnover on Justise Winslow  
9:14 +2 Andrew Wiggins made driving layup, assist by Karl-Anthony Towns 4-1
8:55   Justise Winslow missed hook shot  
8:52   Defensive rebound by Andrew Wiggins  
8:40 +2 Tyus Jones made floating jump shot 6-1
8:12   Bam Adebayo missed hook shot, blocked by Karl-Anthony Towns  
8:09   Offensive rebound by Bam Adebayo  
8:08   Lost ball turnover on Bam Adebayo, stolen by Robert Covington  
7:55 +2 Taj Gibson made driving layup 8-1
7:42   Josh Richardson missed reverse layup, blocked by Karl-Anthony Towns  
7:39   Defensive rebound by Karl-Anthony Towns  
7:20   Andrew Wiggins missed jump shot  
7:18   Defensive rebound by Rodney McGruder  
7:10 +3 Josh Richardson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Justise Winslow 8-4
6:54 +2 Andrew Wiggins made finger-roll layup, assist by Karl-Anthony Towns 10-4
6:37   Bam Adebayo missed layup, blocked by Karl-Anthony Towns  
6:34   Offensive rebound by Derrick Jones Jr.  
6:33 +2 Derrick Jones Jr. made layup 10-6
6:08   Robert Covington missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:08   MIA team rebound  
6:08   Personal foul on Karl-Anthony Towns  
5:55 +2 Justise Winslow made hook shot 10-8
5:20 +2 Justise Winslow made driving layup 12-10
5:07   Defensive rebound by Rodney McGruder  
4:58   Bad pass turnover on Bam Adebayo, stolen by Karl-Anthony Towns  
4:40   Andrew Wiggins missed driving layup  
4:33   Bad pass turnover on Rodney McGruder, stolen by Tyus Jones  
4:24   Taj Gibson missed jump shot  
4:08   Rodney McGruder missed floating jump shot  
4:05   Defensive rebound by Karl-Anthony Towns  
3:56 +2 Tyus Jones made running Jump Shot 14-10
3:28   Offensive rebound by Derrick Jones Jr.  
3:25   Derrick Jones Jr. missed dunk  
3:19 +2 Derrick Jones Jr. made dunk 14-12
3:09 +2 Karl-Anthony Towns made dunk, assist by Andrew Wiggins 16-12
2:53   Personal foul on Josh Okogie  
2:44   Josh Richardson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:44   MIA team rebound  
2:44   Personal foul on Josh Okogie  
2:33   Tyler Johnson missed floating jump shot  
2:30   Defensive rebound by Dario Saric  
2:22   Personal foul on Bam Adebayo  
2:08   Offensive rebound by Karl-Anthony Towns  
2:08 +2 Karl-Anthony Towns made jump shot 18-12
2:08   Shooting foul on Bam Adebayo  
2:08 +1 Karl-Anthony Towns made free throw 19-12
2:00   Lost ball turnover on Kelly Olynyk, stolen by Dario Saric  
1:57   Shooting foul on Kelly Olynyk  
1:57   Josh Okogie missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
1:55   Defensive rebound by Hassan Whiteside  
1:44 +2 Tyler Johnson made hook shot, assist by Josh Richardson 20-14
1:44   Violation  
1:32 +2 Andrew Wiggins made driving layup, assist by Jerryd Bayless 22-14
1:18   Hassan Whiteside missed hook shot, blocked by Karl-Anthony Towns  
1:15   Defensive rebound by Jerryd Bayless  
1:09   Dario Saric missed layup  
1:07   Offensive rebound by Karl-Anthony Towns  
1:06   Karl-Anthony Towns missed dunk  
1:06   Offensive rebound by Karl-Anthony Towns  
1:04   Karl-Anthony Towns missed dunk, blocked by Hassan Whiteside  
1:03   Offensive rebound by Karl-Anthony Towns  
0:58 +2 Karl-Anthony Towns made hook shot 24-14
0:56 +1 Dwyane Wade made 1st of 2 free throws 24-15
0:56 +1 Dwyane Wade made 2nd of 2 free throws 24-16
0:38 +3 Dario Saric made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Jerryd Bayless 27-16
0:06   Bad pass turnover on Jerryd Bayless, stolen by Kelly Olynyk  
0:00 +3 Gorgui Dieng made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Andrew Wiggins 30-19
0:00   End of period  

2nd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:41   Jerryd Bayless missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:39   Defensive rebound by Justise Winslow  
11:32   Dwyane Wade missed layup  
11:32   Defensive rebound by Dario Saric  
11:15   Jerryd Bayless missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:11   Defensive rebound by Hassan Whiteside  
10:54 +2 Hassan Whiteside made driving dunk 30-21
10:54   Shooting foul on Gorgui Dieng  
10:54 +1 Hassan Whiteside made free throw 30-22
10:37   Dario Saric missed jump shot  
10:34   Defensive rebound by Dwyane Wade  
10:23   Defensive rebound by Gorgui Dieng  
10:11   Lost ball turnover on Gorgui Dieng, stolen by Kelly Olynyk  
10:06 +3 Kelly Olynyk made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Tyler Johnson 30-25
9:47   Violation  
9:39   Jerryd Bayless missed floating jump shot  
9:36   Defensive rebound by Dwyane Wade  
9:17 +2 Justise Winslow made turnaround jump shot 30-27
9:09   Personal foul on Tyler Johnson  
8:55 +2 Robert Covington made dunk, assist by Jerryd Bayless 32-27
8:41   Shooting foul on Robert Covington  
8:41   MIA team rebound  
8:41   Dwyane Wade missed 1st of 2 free throws  
8:41 +1 Dwyane Wade made 2nd of 2 free throws 32-28
8:31   Lost ball turnover on Gorgui Dieng, stolen by Justise Winslow  
8:25 +3 Justise Winslow made 3-pt. jump shot 32-31
8:11 +3 Dario Saric made 3-pt. jump shot 35-31
7:57 +2 Dwyane Wade made reverse layup, assist by Tyler Johnson 35-33
7:43   Shooting foul on Dwyane Wade  
7:43 +1 Dario Saric made 1st of 2 free throws 36-33
7:43 +1 Dario Saric made 2nd of 2 free throws 37-33
7:32   Dwyane Wade missed floating jump shot  
7:29   Offensive rebound by Dwyane Wade  
7:27 +2 Dwyane Wade made reverse layup 37-35
7:09   Offensive rebound by Robert Covington  
7:07   Robert Covington missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:55   Shooting foul on Gorgui Dieng  
6:55 +1 Justise Winslow made 1st of 2 free throws 37-36
6:55   Justise Winslow missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
6:52   Defensive rebound by Dario Saric  
6:36   Defensive rebound by Tyler Johnson  
6:35   Shooting foul on Robert Covington  
6:35 +1 Tyler Johnson made 1st of 2 free throws 37-37
6:34   Defensive rebound by Karl-Anthony Towns  
6:16   Lost ball turnover on Dario Saric, stolen by Justise Winslow  
6:11   Offensive foul on Justise Winslow  
5:55 +3 Robert Covington made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Karl-Anthony Towns 40-37
5:43 +2 Dwyane Wade made driving layup 40-39
5:29   Shooting foul on Dwyane Wade  
5:29 +1 Robert Covington made 1st of 2 free throws 41-39
5:29 +1 Robert Covington made 2nd of 2 free throws 42-39
5:17   Lost ball turnover on Dwyane Wade  
5:16   Personal foul on Dwyane Wade  
5:03   Andrew Wiggins missed driving layup  
5:03   MIN team rebound  
4:58   Karl-Anthony Towns missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:56   Offensive rebound by Dario Saric  
4:55   Dario Saric missed hook shot, blocked by Kelly Olynyk  
4:52   Defensive rebound by Kelly Olynyk  
4:47 +3 Rodney McGruder made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Justise Winslow 42-42
4:37   Out of bounds turnover on Karl-Anthony Towns  
4:36   Unsportsmanlike technical foul  
4:36   Karl-Anthony Towns missed free throw  
4:36   MIA team rebound  
4:21   Offensive rebound by Kelly Olynyk  
4:20   Shooting foul on Robert Covington  
4:20 +1 Josh Richardson made 1st of 2 free throws 42-43
4:20 +1 Josh Richardson made 2nd of 2 free throws 42-44
4:05   Tyus Jones missed driving layup  
3:55 +2 Karl-Anthony Towns made dunk 44-44
3:55   Offensive rebound by Karl-Anthony Towns  
3:50   Justise Winslow missed layup  
3:48   Defensive rebound by Taj Gibson  
3:42 +2 Karl-Anthony Towns made jump shot, assist by Josh Okogie 46-44
3:26 +2 Josh Richardson made driving layup, assist by Kelly Olynyk 46-46
3:13   Tyus Jones missed floating jump shot  
3:11   Karl-Anthony Towns missed dunk  
3:11   MIN team rebound  
3:07   Shooting foul on Hassan Whiteside  
3:07 +1 Karl-Anthony Towns made 1st of 3 free throws 47-46
3:07 +1 Karl-Anthony Towns made 2nd of 3 free throws 48-46
3:07   Karl-Anthony Towns missed 3rd of 3 free throws  
3:04   Defensive rebound by Justise Winslow  
2:52   Rodney McGruder missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:49   Defensive rebound by Karl-Anthony Towns  
2:49   Personal foul on Bam Adebayo  
2:49   Josh Okogie missed 1st of 2 free throws  
2:49   MIN team rebound  
2:49   Josh Okogie missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
2:45   Defensive rebound by Kelly Olynyk  
2:39   Personal foul on Taj Gibson  
2:39 +1 Kelly Olynyk made 1st of 2 free throws 48-47
2:39 +1 Kelly Olynyk made 2nd of 2 free throws 48-48
2:28   Andrew Wiggins missed hook shot  
2:27   MIN team rebound  
2:20   Tyus Jones missed floating jump shot, blocked by Josh Richardson  
2:16   Offensive rebound by Tyus Jones  
2:15   Personal foul on Justise Winslow  
2:15 +1 Andrew Wiggins made 1st of 2 free throws 49-48
2:15 +1 Andrew Wiggins made 2nd of 2 free throws 50-48
2:05   Offensive foul on Hassan Whiteside  
2:05   Offensive foul on Hassan Whiteside  
1:45   Andrew Wiggins missed jump shot  
1:43   Offensive rebound by Taj Gibson  
1:31   Tyus Jones missed floating jump shot  
1:28   Offensive rebound by Josh Okogie  
1:24   Tyus Jones missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:19   Offensive rebound by Karl-Anthony Towns  
1:18   Karl-Anthony Towns missed dunk  
1:18   Defensive rebound by Derrick Jones Jr.  
1:12   Kelly Olynyk missed jump shot  
1:13   Offensive rebound by Derrick Jones Jr.  
1:09   Derrick Jones Jr. missed dunk  
1:07   Offensive rebound by Kelly Olynyk  
1:04   Josh Richardson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:03   MIA team rebound  
1:03   Personal foul on Josh Okogie  
1:03 +1 Derrick Jones Jr. made 1st of 2 free throws 50-49
1:03 +1 Derrick Jones Jr. made 2nd of 2 free throws 50-50
0:54   Shooting foul on Josh Richardson  
0:54 +1 Tyus Jones made 1st of 2 free throws 51-50
0:54 +1 Tyus Jones made 2nd of 2 free throws 52-50
0:36   Shooting foul on Josh Okogie  
0:36 +1 Josh Richardson made 1st of 2 free throws 52-51
0:36 +1 Josh Richardson made 2nd of 2 free throws 52-52
0:24 +3 Andrew Wiggins made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Karl-Anthony Towns 55-52
0:02 +2 Rodney McGruder made driving layup, assist by Kelly Olynyk 55-54
0:00   Andrew Wiggins missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:00   MIN team rebound  
0:00   End of period  

3rd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:47 +3 Karl-Anthony Towns made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Tyus Jones 58-54
11:31 +2 Derrick Jones Jr. made driving layup, assist by Rodney McGruder 58-56
11:14   Defensive rebound by Justise Winslow  
11:12   Discontinue dribble turnover on Derrick Jones Jr.  
10:57   Personal foul on Josh Richardson  
10:43   Andrew Wiggins missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:39   Defensive rebound by Hassan Whiteside  
10:33   Out of bounds turnover on Rodney McGruder  
10:21 +2 Taj Gibson made layup, assist by Tyus Jones 60-56
9:58   Defensive rebound by Karl-Anthony Towns  
9:47   Taj Gibson missed jump shot  
9:46   Defensive rebound by Hassan Whiteside  
9:37   Unsportsmanlike technical foul  
9:37 +1 Josh Richardson made free throw 60-57
9:25   Rodney McGruder missed driving layup, blocked by Robert Covington  
9:22   MIA team rebound  
9:23   Josh Richardson missed floating jump shot  
9:23   24-second shot clock violation turnover  
9:06   Shooting foul on Justise Winslow  
9:06   Unsportsmanlike technical foul  
9:06 +1 Robert Covington made free throw 61-57
9:06 +1 Robert Covington made 1st of 2 free throws 62-57
9:06 +1 Robert Covington made 2nd of 2 free throws 63-57
8:50   Hassan Whiteside missed hook shot  
8:46   Derrick Jones Jr. missed dunk  
8:46   Offensive rebound by Derrick Jones Jr.  
8:46   Defensive rebound by Taj Gibson  
8:43   Out of bounds turnover on Karl-Anthony Towns  
8:24   Offensive rebound by Derrick Jones Jr.  
8:17