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Timberwolves go to Towns in 109-103 win vs. Warriors

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) As Minnesota's measuring-stick matchup with Golden State hung in the balance, the Timberwolves turned the game over to Karl-Anthony Towns.

Their flourishing young center took over in the final stretch.

Towns helped Minnesota stop a season-high three-game losing streak with 31 points and 16 rebounds, and the Timberwolves powered their way past Golden State down the stretch for a 109-103 victory on Sunday to hand the Warriors their second straight defeat without star Stephen Curry.

''Obviously it's humbling, just that they respect the work I put into my craft,'' said Towns, who had 14 points in the fourth quarter. ''I'm blessed with the opportunity to catch the ball with that kind of situation and be able to capitalize.''

Kevin Durant had 39 points and 12 rebounds for the Warriors, who left Curry at home from this road trip to rest an injured ankle and lost 125-108 to Portland on Friday, but he made just 11 of 32 field goal tries.

''I'm very confident in where we're heading,'' said coach Steve Kerr, whose team fell two losses behind Western Conference leader Houston. "But we're in the middle of a tough stretch.''

Andrew Wiggins added 23 points for the Timberwolves, who lost twice on the road to the defending champion Warriors earlier this season by a combined 37 points. Curry had a collective plus-36 rating over those two games.

With their spot in the ultracompetitive Western Conference standings slipping while All-Star Jimmy Butler recuperates from right knee surgery, the Wolves needed this win in the worst way in the thick of a daunting stretch of their schedule. They're tied for fifth place but only 1 1/2 games above the cut for the playoffs.

Towns made his All-Star presence felt when it mattered most, swishing a 3-pointer with 5:54 left to give the Wolves a 99-92 edge for their largest lead since early in the second quarter. He knocked down a floater from the lane with 2:18 to go. He hit a fadeaway with 1:08 remaining. Then he dropped in a layup follow of his own miss with 37.5 seconds left to put the game away. He held out his long arms and cupped his hands to encourage the crowd as the last seconds ticked off the clock.

This was the 13th sellout of the season for the Wolves, their most since 2003-04 when they last made the playoffs.

''It was like a sixth player in the game. It was fun,'' said Nemanja Bjelica, who had 10 points and seven rebounds to give the whole Wolves starting lineup double-digit scoring. Taj Gibson (11 points, 13 rebounds) and Jeff Teague (10 points, 10 assists) joined Towns with double-doubles, and most importantly the energy on defense was as high as it's been since All-Star Jimmy Butler went down with a knee injury six games ago.

''With Jimmy out, we have to understand how important that is,'' coach Tom Thibodeau said.

Klay Thompson had 21 points for the Warriors, who led by as much as 57-45 in the third quarter, but he went 3 for 12 from 3-point range. Draymond Green added 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, but he had trouble defending Towns down low. Zaza Pachulia pitched in 16 points and 11 rebounds, but without their catalyst, Curry, the Warriors weren't the same.

Still, Kerr was satisfied with his short-handed team.

''As long as the effort is there, I'm fine with some bad shots,'' Kerr said. ''More than anything, we just looked a little tired.''

ALMOST-PERFECT PACHULIA

Coming off the bench while Javale McGee starts at center, Pachulia made his first seven shots to give the Warriors a big boost when fellow reserves Andre Iguodala (wrist sprain), Jordan Bell (ankle sprain) and David West (arm cyst) were held out again. Pachulia had three assists, two blocked shots and a steal in 25 minutes.

''He keeps up his conditioning. He stays ready all the time. He stays positive,'' Kerr said. ''I'm thrilled with Zaza.''

Thompson sprained his right thumb during the game, the Warriors said, and backup Nick Young bruised his left hip. This will be another difficult week for the Warriors to grind through all these minor but not insignificant injuries.

''It's tough when you're missing that many key guys,'' Green said. ''But I think these guys will be back in time for us to find the rhythm that we need.''

NO BLOOM FOR ROSE

The Wolves built their biggest lead of the game, 28-17, late in the first quarter until Thibodeau initiated Derrick Rose's debut in an extra-small lineup next to Tyus Jones and Jamal Crawford. Over the 6:48 stretch Rose was in the game at shooting guard, the Wolves were outscored 27-10.

After losing the ball in the lane that led to a fast break for Warriors, Rose lost track of Shaun Livingston and gave up an uncontested dunk on the other end before Thibodeau called a timeout with the Wolves trailing 44-38.

This was Rose's first on-court action since Feb. 7 for Cleveland, against Minnesota. He finished 1 for 5 from the floor for two points with two assists, one rebound and two turnovers.

''My wind was good,'' Rose said, ''but as far as rust, yeah, losing the ball, just not there yet.''

TIP-INS

Warriors: West was scheduled for examination by a dermatologist on Sunday, Kerr said, before an assessment about his return could be made. ... Thompson was under his scoring average (19.7 points per game entering the afternoon) in eight of the previous 10 contests.

Timberwolves: Towns had his NBA-best 57th double-double of the season. ... Gibson reached double-digits in scoring for the 18th time in the last 21 games.

UP NEXT

Warriors: Return home to play the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.

Timberwolves: Hit the road to take on the Washington Wizards on Tuesday.

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Key Players
K. Durant
35 SF
K. Towns
32 C
35.1 Min. Per Game 35.1
20.3 Pts. Per Game 20.3
2.4 Ast. Per Game 2.4
12.2 Reb. Per Game 12.2
52.0 Field Goal % 54.5
52.4 Three Point % 54.4
88.5 Free Throw % 85.4
  Defensive rebound by Nemanja Bjelica 0:17
  Kevin Durant missed reverse layup 0:19
  Defensive rebound by Kevin Durant 0:26
  Jeff Teague missed 2nd of 2 free throws 0:29
+ 1 Jeff Teague made 1st of 2 free throws 0:29
  Personal foul on Quinn Cook 0:29
  Defensive rebound by Jeff Teague 0:29
  Quinn Cook missed jump shot, blocked by Nemanja Bjelica 0:32
+ 2 Karl-Anthony Towns made dunk 0:37
  Offensive rebound by Karl-Anthony Towns 0:37
  Karl-Anthony Towns missed floating jump shot 0:39
Team Stats
Points 103 109
Field Goals 37-91 (40.7%) 44-95 (46.3%)
3-Pointers 10-36 (27.8%) 6-20 (30.0%)
Free Throws 19-21 (90.5%) 15-21 (71.4%)
Total Rebounds 56 57
Offensive 12 13
Defensive 38 37
Team 6 7
Assists 22 27
Steals 6 7
Blocks 8 3
Turnovers 13 9
Fouls 17 15
Technicals 0 0
39 PTS, 12 REB, 4 AST
31 PTS, 16 REB, 2 AST
1234T
away team logo Warriors 51-16 24382219103
home team logo Timberwolves 39-29 34212925109
Team Stats
away team logo Warriors 51-16 110.4 PPG 45 RPG 26.0 APG
home team logo Timberwolves 39-29 101.6 PPG 45.2 RPG 22.4 APG
Key Players
K. Durant SF 26.4 PPG 6.8 RPG 5.4 APG 51.6 FG%
K. Towns C 21.3 PPG 12.3 RPG 2.4 APG 54.5 FG%
Top Scorers
K. Durant SF 39 PTS 12 REB 4 AST
K. Towns C 31 PTS 16 REB 2 AST
40.7 FG% 46.3
27.8 3PT FG% 30.0
90.5 FT% 71.4
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Durant 38 39 12 4 0 3 2 3 11/32 5/12 12/12 3 9 60 -19
K. Thompson 39 21 4 5 0 1 4 0 8/22 3/12 2/2 0 4 32 -11
D. Green 35 10 8 7 3 1 2 1 4/9 2/6 0/0 0 8 34 -8
Q. Cook 29 4 4 2 0 0 3 3 2/7 0/2 0/0 0 4 9 -18
J. McGee 14 2 3 0 1 0 0 2 1/1 0/0 0/0 2 1 6 -15
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Durant 38 39 12 4 0 3 2 3 11/32 5/12 12/12 3 9 60 -19
K. Thompson 39 21 4 5 0 1 4 0 8/22 3/12 2/2 0 4 32 -11
D. Green 35 10 8 7 3 1 2 1 4/9 2/6 0/0 0 8 34 -8
Q. Cook 29 4 4 2 0 0 3 3 2/7 0/2 0/0 0 4 9 -18
J. McGee 14 2 3 0 1 0 0 2 1/1 0/0 0/0 2 1 6 -15
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
Z. Pachulia 25 16 11 3 1 2 0 3 7/9 0/0 2/3 4 7 36 +8
S. Livingston 20 8 4 1 0 0 1 0 3/6 0/0 2/2 1 3 13 +15
O. Casspi 7 3 2 0 0 0 1 2 1/1 0/0 1/2 1 1 4 +2
N. Young 21 0 2 0 1 1 0 2 0/4 0/4 0/0 1 1 4 +16
K. Looney 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 0
S. Curry - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Jones - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. McCaw - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Boucher - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Bell - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. West - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Iguodala - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 103 50 22 6 8 13 17 37/91 10/36 19/21 12 38 198 -30
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Towns 39 31 16 2 1 0 1 4 13/24 2/5 3/5 5 11 51 +15
A. Wiggins 36 23 5 3 0 0 1 3 9/16 2/4 3/4 0 5 33 +21
T. Gibson 38 11 13 2 0 1 0 3 5/12 0/0 1/1 4 9 29 +15
J. Teague 35 10 3 10 2 0 2 1 3/8 0/3 4/5 0 3 33 +19
N. Bjelica 40 10 7 4 3 2 1 3 4/12 1/4 1/2 2 5 29 +8
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Towns 39 31 16 2 1 0 1 4 13/24 2/5 3/5 5 11 51 +15
A. Wiggins 36 23 5 3 0 0 1 3 9/16 2/4 3/4 0 5 33 +21
T. Gibson 38 11 13 2 0 1 0 3 5/12 0/0 1/1 4 9 29 +15
J. Teague 35 10 3 10 2 0 2 1 3/8 0/3 4/5 0 3 33 +19
N. Bjelica 40 10 7 4 3 2 1 3 4/12 1/4 1/2 2 5 29 +8
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Crawford 21 12 2 1 1 0 1 0 4/9 1/4 3/3 1 1 16 -9
T. Jones 12 8 2 2 0 0 1 0 4/5 0/0 0/0 0 2 13 -13
D. Rose 6 2 1 2 0 0 2 0 1/5 0/0 0/0 1 0 5 -17
G. Dieng 8 2 1 1 0 0 0 1 1/4 0/0 0/1 0 1 5 -9
A. Brooks - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Butler - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Aldrich - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Brown - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Jefferson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Georges-Hunt - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Patton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 109 50 27 7 3 9 15 44/95 6/20 15/21 13 37 214 +30