Timberwolves top .500 mark with victory over Hornets

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Dec 06 2018 12:05 PM

Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker (15) defends Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) during the third quarter at Target Center. Harrison Barden, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Karl-Anthony Towns had 35 points and 12 rebounds, and the Minnesota Timberwolves exploded in the fourth quarter for a 121-104 victory over the visiting Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night.

Towns led a 22-2 Minnesota surge after the Hornets took a 96-93 lead into the final eight minutes. He scored seven in a 10-0 run when the Timberwolves initially gained control, and then teamed with Robert Covington to turn the game into a blowout.

The Timberwolves (13-12) are now over the .500 mark for the first time all season. They are 9-3 since the trade that brought Covington and Dario Saric from Philadelphia for Jimmy Butler.

Jeff Teague added a career-high 18 assists for the Wolves. Andrew Wiggins scored 26, Covington finished with 17, Derrick Rose added 16 and Taj Gibson had 11 points and 10 boards.

The Hornets suffered their third straight loss, their longest losing streak of the season.

Nicolas Batum and Jeremy Lamb led Charlotte with 18 points apiece. Kemba Walker scored 15, but only four in the last three quarters. The Hornets also got 10 points each from Frank Kaminsky, Miles Bridges and Malik Monk.

The Hornets played without Marvin Williams, who is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury.

The Hornets led by 15 on multiple occasions in the second quarter, but the Timberwolves cut their deficit to 64-62 at halftime. The score was tied 86-86 going into the fourth quarter. The Hornets then pulled out to a 96-93 lead before Towns took over.

Minnesota shot 50 percent (12-of-24) from 3-poiint range and out-rebounded Charlotte 50-40.

The Hornets will return home to face Denver on Friday night. The Timberwolves will now head out for an extended stretch with 10 of their next 12 games on the road, starting at Portland on Saturday.

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