January 23, 2018 / 6:34 AM / 10 months ago

Timberwolves knock off Clippers as Wiggins scores 40

Andrew Wiggins scored a season-high 40 points and Jeff Teague contributed a season-best 30 points as the Minnesota Timberwolves notched a high-octane 126-118 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Wiggins was 16-of-28 from the field while picking up the scoring slack for a team missing guards Jimmy Butler (knee) and Jamal Crawford (toe). Nemanja Bjelica matched his season high of 18 points, Taj Gibson scored 14 points and Karl-Anthony Towns had 11 points and 17 rebounds for his 41st double-double of the campaign as Minnesota won for the seventh time in the past nine games.

Blake Griffin had 32 points, a season-best 12 assists and matched a season high with 12 rebounds to record his second triple-double of the season for Los Angeles, which lost its second straight following a six-game winning streak. Montrezl Harrell scored 23 points, Lou Williams had 20 and Milos Teodosic added 15.

DeAndre Jordan (ankle) sat out for the Clippers, who shot 56 percent from the field but committed 17 turnovers.

Minnesota shot 47.3 percent from the field and was 33-of-39 from the free-throw line. Los Angeles was 15-of-22 from the line.

Wiggins hit a floater to give Minnesota a 113-111 lead with 3:46 remaining. Just over a minute later, Bjelica drained a wide-open 3-pointer to give the Timberwolves a 116-112 lead and the advantage later reached seven when Teague drained a 21-footer with 1:17 left.

Teague restored the seven-point edge with a floater with 56.9 seconds left. But Harrell hit two free throws and Wesley Johnson scored on a layup to bring the Clippers within 121-118 with 30.6 seconds left.

Los Angeles turned the ball over on its next two possessions and coach Doc Rivers and assistant Mike Woodson both got ejected for arguing. Minnesota put the game away at the free-throw line, making the final four with 7.4 seconds to play.

The Timberwolves led 69-59 after a basket by Wiggins with 9:11 left in the third quarter but the Clippers controlled the next five-plus minutes and took an 83-79 advantage on Griffin’s hoop with 3:52 to play. But Wiggins finished a 14-point quarter with a 13-foot jumper with 16 seconds remaining as Minnesota took a 92-90 lead into the final stanza.

Wiggins scored 21 first-half points as the Timberwolves possessed a 61-57 lead at the break.

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