Karl-Anthony Towns finished two assists shy of a triple-double and was the linchpin of a remarkable closing stretch for the Minnesota Timberwolves, who erased a 19-point, second-half deficit in their 107-101 victory over the Houston Rockets on Friday in Minneapolis.
Towns finished with 29 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists, tallying 14 points and two assists while the Timberwolves closed the game on a 22-0 run. They ended a three-game losing skid.
Houston led 101-85 on a 20-footer by D.J. Augustin with 7:31 left in the game. The Rockets then missed their final 14 shots and committed five turnovers. Augustin gave the Rockets their biggest lead at 91-72 on a 3-pointer with 1:50 left in the third.
Juan Hernangomez scored 19 points with nine rebounds and Naz Reid scored 16, with both coming off the Minnesota bench.
Christian Wood had 24 points and nine rebounds to lead the Rockets. Ben McLemore tied his season high with 21 points.
John Wall paired 14 points with a season-high 15 assists, but he made only 6 of 25 from the floor and committed seven turnovers. The Rockets’ 21 turnovers yielded 18 points for the Timberwolves.
Turnovers undermined the Rockets’ strong shooting start, with five in the first quarter leading to four Minnesota points and offsetting 11-of-20 shooting by Houston.
The Timberwolves did not commit a turnover in the opening period and carried a 33-29 lead into the second, although their ball security turned lackadaisical.
Houston ran its turnover total to 11 by the intermission, but the Timberwolves had five in the second quarter, including four from Towns.
McLemore, meanwhile, caught fire with his 6 for 6 start from behind the arc and had 18 points by the break. Wall had 10 assists in the first half, and the Rockets closed the second with a 9-0 run to take a 63-54 halftime lead.
The Rockets hit 11 of 22 3-pointers in the first half, with Minnesota staying close through the combination of six offensive rebounds and 11 Houston turnovers yielding a plus-15 advantage in field goal attempts.
The Timberwolves, however, missed 7 of 8 3-pointers in the second quarter.
–Field Level Media