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Towns scores 29, T’wolves rally to beat Sacramento

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POSTED February 12, 2018 1:49 a.m.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves have used their home court to quickly resolve any issues that have arisen this season on the road.

Sunday night didn’t offer the same immediate boost, but another win was welcome enough.

Towns scored 29 points, Jeff Teague added 12 points and 10 assists and Minnesota overcame an uncharacteristic sloppy performance at home to beat the Sacramento Kings 111-106.

It would have been weird to lose,” Towns said. “We didn’t lose, so it felt like the same thing, just a different recipe we cooked up tonight.”

The Timberwolves had 17 turnovers and allowed Sacramento 22 second-chance points, but prevailed after back-to-back road losses. Jimmy Butler scored 18 points, 15 in the second half, for Minnesota in its 13th straight home win.

De’Aaron Fox had 23 points and Bogdan Bogdanovic chipped in 13 for the Kings, who have lost four of their past five games. Reserves Buddy Hield (16 points) and Kosta Koufos (12) provided a spark off the bench and helped Sacramento’s backups outscore Minnesota’s 41-21.

“At the end of the day, we had too many turnovers and not enough made free throws, and we fouled too much,” Kings coach Dave Joerger said. “They shot too many free throws. That’s what happens in a close game.”

The Wolves were 28 of 32 from the free-throw line, including 16 of 18 in the fourth quarter.

A sloppy game handling the ball by both teams led to a combined 36 turnovers. Sacramento had 19 turnovers, four off a season-high.

The Kings, who had wins at New Orleans, Miami and Orlando on their last trip, led most of the way. Minnesota clawed back for a lead in the second after trailing by as many as 10 points and had to do so again in the second half.

Towns and Teague hit back-to-back 3-pointers with 6:17 left for a one-point lead at 93-92. Zach Randolph had a layup on the other end to give Sacramento another lead, but Jamal Crawford countered with a 3 for the Wolves, who wouldn’t trail again.

“We have capable shooters,” Crawford said. “We don’t shoot a lot of them, but for whatever reason, we’re shooting more of them and I think it’s paying off for us.”

Hield hit an off balance 3 with 10.9 seconds left but Butler hit a pair of free throws and stole the inbounds pass to secure the win.

“We didn’t play well, but we did enough to win in the end,” Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau said.

GETTING FOXY

Fox, the rookie No. 5 overall pick, helped the Kings take control early. He hit his first four shots for 11 points and finished the first quarter with 14 points. But he had just two points in the second and third quarters.

Fox added seven in the fourth to fall three points shy of his season-high of 26.

“I’m just trying to bring the same aggressiveness every game and today was one of those days I was just making shots early, and I just kept taking them,” Fox said.

BUTLER CLOSES

Butler had scored at least 30 points in his previous three games but had a quiet start on Sunday. Butler had just three points at halftime and had one field-goal attempt in the opening half.

Butler was 2 of 4 from the field and 6 of 6 from the line in the fourth quarter for 11 points to help Minnesota rally.

TIP-INS

Kings: Sacramento was without Skal Labissiere (left shoulder rotator cuff strain), Iman Shumpert (left foot plantar fasciitis), Frank Mason III (partial tear right plantar fascia), Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehabilitation) and Bruno Caboclo (personal). Shumpert and Caboclo have yet to make their Kings debuts after being acquired at the trade deadline. ... Sacramento waived Joe Johnson prior to the game. Johnson was acquired along with Shumpert in a three-team trade on Thursday, coming over from the Utah Jazz as George Hill went to Cleveland.

Timberwolves: Minnesota owns the league’s second-best home mark at 23-6 and has needed a win at home after ending its last five road trips with back-to-back losses. It doesn’t have a three-game losing streak all season. ... Andrew Wiggins had 16 points and eight rebounds. The Wolves are 19-6 this season when Wiggins grabs at least five rebounds.

UP NEXT

Kings: At Dallas on Tuesday night.

Timberwolves: Host Houston on Tuesday night.

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For more NBA coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball


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