NBA: Towns outduels Westbrook as T-Wolves top Thunder

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Mar 06 2019 12:44 PM

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns (32) dunks against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the fourth quarter at Target Center. Bruce Kluckhohn, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 41 as the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 131-120 at home Tuesday night.

It was the third consecutive win this season for the Timberwolves over the Thunder.

Those first two games, both in Oklahoma City, were close. This one was not.

Minnesota took control beginning late in the first quarter and the Thunder only once seriously threatened the lead after that, cutting the lead to two briefly before a 16-6 run put the Timberwolves up comfortably once again.

The Timberwolves' lead wasn't smaller than 10 in the second half until the final minute.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak for Minnesota, though the Timberwolves have won four consecutive games at home.

Oklahoma City has lost six of eight. It was the eighth consecutive game which the Thunder trailed by double figures at some point.

Oklahoma City's Paul George returned to the lineup after missing three games with a sore shoulder, but he struggled in his return, making just 8 of 25 from the field and 4 of 14 from behind the 3-point line to finish with 25 points.

Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 38 points and 13 rebounds, making 15 of 28 with five 3-pointers.

Minnesota had beaten Oklahoma City twice on the road this season thanks to big games from Andrew Wiggins. He had averaged 35 points, eight rebounds and 4.5 assists while shooting 50 percent from the field in the first two meetings.

While Wiggins was solid again Tuesday night, finishing with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting, it was Towns who was dominant.

Towns has averaged 36.4 points per game over the last five since returning from missing two games following a car accident.

He was 15 of 27 from the floor with 14 rebounds. Towns put the exclamation point on the win with a thunderous dunk in the final minute.

The game was the first of a four-game road trip for the Thunder. It doesn't get any easier from here, as Oklahoma City plays three teams currently in playoff position in the Western Conference to close out the trip, including Thursday's game at Portland.

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