Karl-Anthony Towns scored 21 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as the Minnesota Timberwolves continued their dominance of the New Orleans Pelicans in a 116-98 victory Saturday night at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
The Timberwolves (25-16) won the two previous meetings, both of which were played in New Orleans, by scores of 108-94 (Nov. 1) and 120-102 (Nov. 29). They host Cleveland on Monday.
The Pelicans (19-19) had won their last three road games by a combined 39 points. They return home to face Detroit on Monday.
Jimmy Butler matched Towns’ 21 points and added eight assists as six Minnesota players scored in double figures. Andrew Wiggins scored 20 points, Taj Gibson had 15, Gorgui Dieng came off the bench to score 14 and Tyus Jones had 10.
DeMarcus Cousins led New Orleans with 23 points and 15 rebounds, Anthony Davis had 16 points, Jrue Holiday scored 13 and Rajon Rondo finished with 10.
The Timberwolves made 9 of 18 3-pointers as Towns was 3-for-3 and Butler and Dieng were both 2-for-2. The Pelicans made 6 of 29 from outsideas, with Holiday going 0-for-6 and E’Twaun Moore shooting 0-for-4.
Both teams were exceptional at the foul line. New Orleans made 26 of 28 free throws and Minnesota made 19 of 21.
Minnesota had a 21-point halftime lead and started the third quarter with a 12-4 spurt that gave it an 81-52 lead.
The Timberwolves led by as many as 34 points before settling for a 98-71 cushion after three quarters.
The Pelicans gradually made the final margin more respectable, but got no closer than 16 points during the fourth quarter.
Wiggins scored nine points and Gibson had eight as the Timberwolves raced to a 36-24 lead after one quarter.
Cousins had an assist and four points as the Pelicans cut the lead to 38-30, but Towns scored seven points as Minnesota followed with a 21-8 run.
Davis made consecutive baskets before a 10-0 run gave the Wolves their largest lead to that point at 69-42.
New Orleans scored the final six points of the half, but Minnesota held a 69-48 halftime lead.
—Field Level Media