Towns takes over in 3rd quarter as Timberwolves beat Jazz 123-95
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Karl-Anthony Towns scored 15 of his season-high 25 points in a dominant third-quarter stretch, and the Minnesota Timberwolves pulled away to beat the Utah Jazz 123-95 on Saturday night.
Anthony Edwards led Minnesota with 31 points: 19 in the first half and 12 in the fourth quarter. Rudy Gobert had 11 points and a team-best 10 rebounds against his former team for his fourth double-double in the first five games.
Lauri Markkanen led the Jazz with 22 points and eight rebounds. He was 4 of 11 on 3-pointers after making a franchise-record 25 through the first six Utah games. Talen Horton-Tucker and John Collins added 14 points apiece.
Utah, which opened a four-game trip, has lost four of five.
After the score was tied at 66 midway through the third, Towns made a pair of 3-pointers sandwiched around a 3 from Mike Conley. Towns hit four straight free throws late in a 15-2 run, and another free throw from the 7-foot center made it 88-74 late in the period.
It was the second straight game in which Utah trailed by 14 in the third quarter. The Jazz rallied in the fourth Thursday but lost 115-113 to Orlando.
Edwards made a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter and Conley added a bucket to give Minnesota a 100-79 lead.
The Timberwolves shot 55.6% and held Utah to 38.5%, the second straight Minnesota opponent to finish under 40%. Minnesota limited Denver to 39% in Wednesday’s 110-89 win.
The Timberwolves have held four of their first five opponents under 100 points. Minnesota is holding opponents to an NBA-best 42.7% from the field.
A 15-5 run to end the first half, capped by a thunderous dunk from Towns, gave Minnesota a 55-50 lead.
Edwards made his first four shots as Minnesota built an early 11-point lead, but Markkanen hit successive 3s and then a third as part of a 15-6 Jazz run to close out the quarter and get Utah within 29-27.
Jazz: At the Chicago Bulls on Monday.
Timberwolves: Host the Boston Celtics on Monday.
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