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Wolves Battle Back In Fourth, Beat Wizards On Road

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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The Wolves trailed by eight to the Wizards in Washington entering the fourth quarter on Tuesday night.

They trailed by as much as 10 with 10 minutes left.

Without All-Star Jimmy Butler, and on the road against a playoff team, this one was probably over, right?

Normally when people ask that question in an article, the answer is the opposite. That's the case here.

Minnesota outscored the Wizards 34-21 in the final 12 minutes to come away with a 116-111 win. In the fourth, Karl-Anthony Towns and Nemanja Bjelica combined for five 3-pointers. Towns finished with seven points in the final frame.

Towns led the Wolves with 38 points and 10 rebounds, his NBA-leading 58th double-double. Nemanja Bjelica continued his strong play, finishing with 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Andrew Wiggins finished with 16 points and two blocks. Jeff Teague added 13 points, five assists and two steals. Jamal Crawford led the second unit with 11 points, while Taj Gibson had 10 points and eight rebounds.

Markieff Morris led Washington with 27 points. Bradley Beal added 19 points and five assists. Tomas Satoransky had a solid all-around game, finishing with 15 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Ian Mahinmi rounded things out with 10 points and nine rebounds. 

The Wolves move to 40-29 on the season, and at the time of this post, sixth in the West, a half game behind the Thunder and 0.2 percent behind the Pelicans.

The Wizards fall to 38-30, fifth in the East.

Highlight of the Night:

With 29 seconds left, Towns pumped, got Mahinmi to fly by him, and nailed the corner three to give the Wolves a 114-109 lead, or as we call it in the business, “a dagger.”

FYI, centers don’t do this.

Numbers Game:

-       The Wolves were a near-perfect 17-for-19 from the free-throw line.

-       Otto Porter Jr. had a night to forget. The Wizard shot 4-for-14 from the field and 0-for-3 from the 3-point line.

-       It’s the first time since 2013-14 the Wolves have hit 40 wins.

Player of the Game:

Towns was unbelievable, putting up a season-high 37 points to go with 10 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal. What was more impressive is how efficient Towns was. For a big man, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The third-year big shot 13-for-17 from the field, 3-for-3 from the 3-point line and 8-for-8 from the free-throw line.

He didn’t get a stat for this, but this pass to Tyus Jones was crucial on this play. Without Butler, Towns has stepped up in a huge way for the Wolves. 

Up Next:

The Wolves stay on the road for a Saturday night showdown against the Spurs in San Antonio. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. on Fox Sports North Plus, NBA TV and 830 WCCO.