EditorsNote: Edit 1: Fixed extra word in eighth graf
Julius Randle had 33 points and 11 rebounds as the host New Orleans Pelicans overcame the absence of Anthony Davis to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 123-114 on Monday night.
Davis was a last-minute scratch because of illness, but Randle and the Pelicans’ 3-point shooting made up for the loss of the All-Star forward.
The Pelicans made 14 of 25 3-pointers and the Timberwolves, who had won the previous five meetings with New Orleans, made 9 of 28.
Jrue Holiday scored 26, Darius Miller came off the bench to add 21, making 5 of 8 3-pointers, and E’Twaun Moore scored 17, making 3 of 4 3-pointers. Pelicans point guard Elfrid Payton returned after a 22-game absence due to surgery to repair a fractured finger, and had nine points and six assists in 24 minutes.
Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves with 28 points, 17 rebounds, six assists and five blocks one night after he had 34 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists and six blocks in a 113-104 victory at Miami.
Andrew Wiggins added 20 points, Taj Gibson scored 17, Robert Covington had 16, Tyus Jones had 15 points and 13 assists and Gorgui Dieng had 10 points.
The Pelicans led by 12 at halftime and Randle started the third-quarter scoring by making the team’s 10th 3-pointer.
But the Wolves used the 3-pointer to cut into the lead. Covington made two 3-pointers before Towns’ 3-pointer tied the score at 79.
Another Towns basket put Minnesota on top and it held an 89-88 lead after three quarters.
Miller led a New Orleans charge in the fourth quarter, scoring eight points as the Pelicans took a 106-99 lead midway through the period.
The Wolves got within five points three times, but each time New Orleans answered with a basket.
Towns’ 3-pointer and Gibson’s free throw pulled Minnesota within 112-109 with 1:28 left.
Miller made two free throws and, after a Wolves miss, Towns was called for his fifth personal foul and a technical. Holiday made all three free throws to give New Orleans a 120-113 lead with 35 seconds left. Towns fouled out moments later.
—Field Level Media