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Timberwolves Cruise Past Nets

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Anthony Edwards scored 25 points, D’Angelo Russell had 23 points and 10 assists, and the Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Brooklyn Nets 136-125 on Sunday night.

Karl-Anthony Towns overcame a poor shooting night, scoring 15 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter as the Wolves put the game away, winning for the third time in four games.

“It doesn’t have to be me every night,” said Towns, Minnesota’s leading scorer and rebounder. “That’s why we have great talents like D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards. You’ve got to be able to lean on them. They can carry the load just as well as myself.”

Minnesota also got strong contributions from their role players. Jaylen Nowell scored 16 points, Taurean Prince had 15, and Jaden McDaniels added 14. The three went 18 for 26 from the floor, including a perfect 6-for-6 night from Prince.

“Those guys are coming in, bringing their own energy and spice to the game,” Russell said. “That takes the pressure off everybody.”

Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 30 points for the Nets, while Patty Mills hit five 3-pointers on the way to 21 points. Kessler Edwards added 15 points, and James Harden had 13 points and 13 assists for Brooklyn, which is 2-2 since losing leading scorer Kevin Durant to a sprained ligament in his left knee.

“I don’t know that we gave enough resistance, weren’t into the body enough,” Nets coach Steve Nash said. “Didn’t feel like our will, our force, was felt defensively. Whatever it was, we didn’t have the juice down there tonight. ... We tried to find a way to hang in and see if we could get on a run defensively. We just never did.”

Minnesota led by as much as 15 in the third quarter before a late surge pulled the Nets to within seven heading into the fourth. Then Towns went to work, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and converting a three-point play as part of his huge fourth quarter.

The Nets dominated the boards, outrebounding Minnesota 16-5 in the first quarter and 48-37 overall. But after shooting over 55% in the first quarter, Brooklyn turned ice-cold, hitting just 8 of 24 shots from the floor in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, Russell led Minnesota with 17 points in the first half as the Wolves shot 56.8% from the floor to take a 72-62 lead at the break.