Taj Gibson contributed three baskets to a 20-4, game-opening run Monday night that sent the Minnesota Timberwolves on their way to a wire-to-wire, 127-99 thrashing of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Minneapolis.
Andrew Wiggins finished with 25 points and Jimmy Butler 21 as the Timberwolves (26-16) won a second straight to open a five-game homestand while snapping a six-game losing streak to Cleveland.
LeBron James was held to 10 points, his lowest since October of 2007, for the Cavaliers (26-14), who lost for the second time in three outings on a five-game trip.
Butler complemented Gibson’s early burst with two- and 3-point hoops of his own in the 20-4 run that consumed more than seven minutes of the first quarter.
The Cavaliers missed 12 of their 14 shots in the early skid, including all eight of their 3-point attempts, and mixed in three turnovers.
Cleveland finished the game 13-for-38 from beyond the arc after going 2-for-19 in the first half, during which the Cavaliers fell behind 69-42.
Butler had 16 of his 21 points and Wiggins 14 of his 25 in the decisive first 24 minutes.
Karl-Anthony Towns (19 points, 12 rebounds) and Gibson (16 points, 13 rebounds) recorded double-doubles for the Timberwolves, who recorded a fifth straight win.
Minnesota outrebounded Cleveland 56-37.
Jeff Green had 22 points, Kyle Korver 19 and Dwyane Wade 13 for the Cavaliers, who have lost six of their last seven on the road.
James, who played 27 minutes, has been held to 10 points or fewer just 12 times in his career. He shot 4-for-8 overall and 1-for-3 on his 3-pointers.
Isaiah Thomas, playing for just the third time this season, had nine points on 3-for-11 shooting. The first-year Cavalier had scored 17 and 19 points in his first two games, hitting 13 of his 25 shots.
Kevin Love totaled a season-low three points after missing six of his seven shots. He’s had three or fewer points 21 times in his career.
--Field Level Media