March 9, 2018 / 4:04 AM / in 3 months

Celtics down Wolves, seal playoff berth

EditorsNote: update 2: updates 5th graf with latest on Brown

Kyrie Irving had 23 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, and Al Horford added 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists to lead the Boston Celtics to a 117-109 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night at Target Center in Minneapolis.

The Celtics clinched a playoff berth with the win.

Nemanja Bjelica had 30 points and 12 rebounds and Taj Gibson added 18 points to lead the Timberwolves, who lost their third consecutive game and fell for the fourth time in six games.

Boston won its second game in a row and prevailed for the sixth time in seven games by using a balanced offensive attack that had six players score in double figures. Marcus Morris had 17 points off the bench and Jaylen Brown added 14 for the Celtics, who survived a scare when Brown walked off the court on his own accord after sustaining a bad fall while trying to dunk in the third quarter.

Brown later was taken to a hospital over concerns he sustained a concussion, but he tweeted that he was OK.

The Celtics shot 49.4 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from 3-point range while picking up 28 assists.

Terry Rozier added 13 points off the bench for Boston, whose reserves outscored Minnesota’s 42-20. No. 3 pick Jayson Tatum had 12 points and five rebounds for the Celtics.

Minnesota had six players in double figures, but Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins combined for just 28 points on 11-of-33 shooting. Wiggins went 6 of 21 from the field and had four turnovers to go along with 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Towns added 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Jamal Crawford had 15 points and four assists off the bench for the Timberwolves, and Jeff Teague had 13 points, eight assists and five rebounds.

Boston led 60-46 at halftime after using a 14-4 run midway through the second quarter to take a double-digit lead.

The Celtics capped off a three-game road trip with a 2-1 record, making them 5-1 in their past six road games.

Boston returns home to face the Indiana Pacers on Sunday night while the Timberwolves cap off a rough two-game stretch with a Sunday afternoon tilt against the Golden State Warriors.

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