Karl-Anthony Towns scored 21 points and added 20 rebounds, and Jamal Crawford poured in 24 points, including two baskets in the final 50.1 seconds, as the Minnesota Timberwolves outlasted the Dallas Mavericks 93-92 on Friday at the American Airlines Center in downtown Dallas.
The Timberwolves (44-33) are deep in the hunt for the playoffs, and the win on Friday allowed them to leapfrog New Orleans into sixth place in the Western Conference standings.
Dallas (23-53) has already been eliminated from postseason consideration and is assured of having its fewest wins in a season since it won just 19 games in the strike-shortened 1998-99 campaign.
Minnesota used an 8-3 run in the middle of the fourth quarter to turn a four-point lead into an 82-73 advantage. The Timberwolves expanded their lead to as many as 11 points, but Dallas would not go quietly, pulling to within 91-89 on a Dennis Smith Jr. jumper with 28.3 seconds remaining.
Jeff Teague and Taj Gibson added 14 points and 12 points, respectively, for the Timberwolves in the win.
Harrison Barnes led the Mavericks with 19 points while Smith Jr. scored 17, Yogi Ferrell poured in 14 off the bench, and Maxi Kleber hit for 10 points. Nerlens Noel led Dallas with 12 rebounds.
The Mavericks led 46-44 in a defensive-minded first half as Barnes and Smith Jr. scored nine points each and Doug McDermott added eight. Dallas outshot the Timberwolves 45 percent to 34 percent over the first two quarters and hit 7 of its 15 3-pointers in the first half.
Minnesota was led in the first half by Towns’ 10 points and 14 rebounds, with Crawford pouring in nine points off the bench and Gibson adding eight. The Timberwolves stayed close via a 12-1 advantage in made free throws and by forcing 10 Dallas turnovers in the first 24 minutes of play.
Minnesota returns home to host the Nuggets on Sunday evening while the Mavericks travel to Cleveland to battle the Cavaliers, also on Sunday.
—Field Level Media