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Butler scores 30 to lead Wolves past Pelicans, 118-107

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Super Bowl still a day away, the Minnesota Timberwolves were the hot ticket in town - and not because there wasn't anything else to do on a frigid Saturday night.

While Wolves teams of previous seasons didn't give the home crowd much to cheer about, this season's squad gave the celebrities in town for Sunday's football game a taste of what has the local fans excited.

Jimmy Butler scored 30 points, Karl-Anthony Towns had 22 points and 16 rebounds for his league-leading 47th double-double, and Minnesota beat the New Orleans Pelicans 118-107.

With the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Sting, Guy Fieri and others in the crowd, the Wolves jumped to an early 16-point lead and had an answer for every New Orleans run en route to their 12th straight home win, and a four-game season sweep of the Pelicans.

''Obviously we didn't want to disappoint any celebrities coming in,'' Towns said.

They didn't disappoint the regular fans either. The home winning streak is Minnesota's longest in a single season since a 14-game streak in 2003-04.

''I just think that we want to make it tough to win here,'' Butler said. ''We make shots here, that's for sure, but we actually guard a lot better more on our home floor. And you know when you guard, you get a lot of easy points in transition and the result of that is wins.''

Anthony Davis led New Orleans with 38 points and managed to keep the Pelicans from getting completely blown out in the first quarter, when the Wolves opened a 22-6 lead. Davis scored 19 first-quarter points to help the Pelicans pull within single digits at times, but Minnesota shot 50.5 percent on the night to steadily maintain its lead.

''You can't play uphill the entire game,'' Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said.

Nikola Mirotic scored 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting in his first game for New Orleans since being traded from Chicago on Thursday for Omer Asik, Tony Allen and Jameer Nelson. Mirotic hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the third to pull the Pelicans to 90-79 before Towns closed the quarter with a three-point play and a dunk.

Tyus Jones had 15 points off the bench for the Wolves. Andrew Wiggins had 15 points for Minnesota and Taj Gibson added 12.

''The game was fairly close, for the most part, after that first quarter,'' Davis said. ''We just got off to a slow start and gave those guys whatever they wanted in those first couple minutes.''

TIP-INS

Pelicans: The team gave Emeka Okafor another shot at the NBA by signing the veteran forward to a 10-day contract. Okafor last played in the NBA in 2013 before being sidelined by a neck injury. He's played 26 games in the G League this year, averaging 6.8 points and eight rebounds per game. ''Obviously it's a never-give-up attitude to get your way back to where he is right now, and so it's just a matter of him being able to perform and stay at this level,'' Gentry said. Okafor was available but didn't play.

Timberwolves: Coach Tom Thibodeau had no comment on recent ESPN reports that Shabazz Muhammad has requested a trade. ''I didn't see it,'' said Thibodeau, who is also the team's president of basketball operations.

STARRY NIGHT

The crowd enjoyed a Wolves mascot interaction with Mayweather on the scoreboard. Some of the other faces spotted in the crowd included Shaggy, Antonio Brown and Tony Gonzalez. It was the second game in a week that the crowd included famous faces. ''It's very different,'' Towns said. ''It's amazing what the Super Bowl brings to Minnesota.''

READY OR NOT

Mirotic didn't get much time to prep for his first game with his new teammates, who played the second night of a back-to-back. He said he met with coaches and watched film in the morning, and the team didn't hold its typical shootaround. ''It was helpful and those guys make it very simple for me tonight,'' Mirotic said.

UP NEXT

Pelicans: Host Utah on Monday night.

Timberwolves: At Cleveland on Wednesday night.

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
A. Davis
23 PF
K. Towns
32 C
35.2 Min. Per Game 35.2
19.9 Pts. Per Game 19.9
2.3 Ast. Per Game 2.3
12.1 Reb. Per Game 12.1
54.5 Field Goal % 54.2
54.4 Three Point % 54.5
82.2 Free Throw % 84.2
  Team rebound 0:00
  Charles Cooke missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:00
  24-second shot clock violation turnover 0:04
  Defensive rebound by Taj Gibson 0:27
  Nikola Mirotic missed free throw 0:28
  Shooting foul on Taj Gibson 0:28
+ 2 Nikola Mirotic made layup, assist by Mike James 0:28
+ 2 Gorgui Dieng made jump shot, assist by Aaron Brooks 0:36
+ 2 Cheick Diallo made jump shot, assist by Mike James 0:50
  Team rebound 0:51
  Ian Clark missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:53
Team Stats
Points 107 118
Field Goals 42-101 (41.6%) 48-95 (50.5%)
3-Pointers 8-33 (24.2%) 10-21 (47.6%)
Free Throws 15-17 (88.2%) 12-16 (75.0%)
Total Rebounds 53 59
Offensive 18 12
Defensive 33 38
Team 2 9
Assists 23 21
Steals 9 9
Blocks 8 3
Turnovers 13 12
Fouls 11 13
Technicals 0 0
38 PTS, 9 REB, 1 AST
30 PTS, 8 REB, 7 AST
1234T
away team logo Pelicans 28-24 29242826107
home team logo Timberwolves 34-22 37292923118
Team Stats
away team logo Pelicans 28-24 117.8 PPG 48.4 RPG 26.9 APG
home team logo Timberwolves 34-22 111.0 PPG 43.8 RPG 23.3 APG
Key Players
A. Davis PF 26.5 PPG 13.1 RPG 4.7 APG 47.9 FG%
J. Butler SG PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
A. Davis PF 38 PTS 9 REB 1 AST
J. Butler SG 30 PTS 8 REB 7 AST
41.6 FG% 50.5
24.2 3PT FG% 47.6
88.2 FT% 75.0
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
A. Davis 36 38 9 1 2 1 2 1 16/30 1/4 5/5 5 4 50 -4
R. Rondo 20 9 3 3 0 0 0 1 4/6 1/2 0/0 0 3 18 -15
J. Holiday 37 9 5 9 1 2 3 0 3/13 0/3 3/3 0 5 32 -17
D. Cunningham 19 5 1 0 0 0 0 1 2/6 1/3 0/0 0 1 6 -18
E. Moore 12 2 1 2 1 0 2 0 1/4 0/1 0/0 1 0 6 -19
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
A. Davis 36 38 9 1 2 1 2 1 16/30 1/4 5/5 5 4 50 -4
R. Rondo 20 9 3 3 0 0 0 1 4/6 1/2 0/0 0 3 18 -15
J. Holiday 37 9 5 9 1 2 3 0 3/13 0/3 3/3 0 5 32 -17
D. Cunningham 19 5 1 0 0 0 0 1 2/6 1/3 0/0 0 1 6 -18
E. Moore 12 2 1 2 1 0 2 0 1/4 0/1 0/0 1 0 6 -19
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
N. Mirotic 35 18 12 2 4 1 2 2 6/13 3/8 3/5 6 6 37 +6
C. Diallo 14 10 10 1 0 1 0 1 3/8 0/0 4/4 4 6 23 -2
I. Clark 31 9 7 1 0 1 2 1 4/12 1/7 0/0 2 5 17 +5
D. Miller 22 5 2 0 0 2 1 3 2/4 1/3 0/0 0 2 8 +6
M. James 7 2 0 4 1 0 1 1 1/4 0/1 0/0 0 0 10 +1
C. Cooke 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 1 1 +2
A. Ajinca - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Cousins - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Hill - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
F. Jackson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Okafor - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 234 107 51 23 9 8 13 11 42/101 8/33 15/17 18 33 208 -55
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Butler 36 30 8 7 2 0 2 1 11/21 2/4 6/9 1 7 52 +12
K. Towns 32 22 16 1 1 0 1 3 8/16 3/3 3/4 6 10 40 +14
A. Wiggins 37 15 3 1 1 0 2 2 7/14 1/3 0/0 1 2 19 +15
T. Gibson 33 12 9 1 0 1 1 2 6/9 0/0 0/0 3 6 23 +9
J. Teague 26 5 2 6 1 1 3 0 2/7 1/2 0/0 0 2 18 +23
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Butler 36 30 8 7 2 0 2 1 11/21 2/4 6/9 1 7 52 +12
K. Towns 32 22 16 1 1 0 1 3 8/16 3/3 3/4 6 10 40 +14
A. Wiggins 37 15 3 1 1 0 2 2 7/14 1/3 0/0 1 2 19 +15
T. Gibson 33 12 9 1 0 1 1 2 6/9 0/0 0/0 3 6 23 +9
J. Teague 26 5 2 6 1 1 3 0 2/7 1/2 0/0 0 2 18 +23
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
T. Jones 20 15 1 1 2 0 1 2 6/9 1/2 2/2 0 1 19 -10
J. Crawford 20 8 2 2 1 1 2 1 3/9 1/4 1/1 0 2 14 -3
G. Dieng 15 6 6 0 0 0 0 1 3/5 0/0 0/0 1 5 12 -3
N. Bjelica 14 5 3 1 1 0 0 1 2/5 1/3 0/0 0 3 11 +2
A. Brooks 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 2 -2
M. Georges-Hunt 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 -2
C. Aldrich - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Brown - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Jefferson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Muhammad - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Patton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 118 50 21 9 3 12 13 48/95 10/21 12/16 12 38 210 +55