LOS ANGELES – Karl-Anthony Towns scored 24 points, Anthony Edwards added 23 and the Minnesota Timberwolves rallied in the second half for a 121-100 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night in a clash between two of the best Western Conference teams.
Rudy Gobert had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds as the Timberwolves (37-16) remained atop the Western Conference with their third win in the last four games.
It's the tenth time the Timberwolves have won this season trailing at halftime, which is second in the NBA.
“I didn’t think we brought enough strength or physicality to the game in the first half. I thought we played good basketball, but there were a lot of plays where they were a lot more physical than us,” Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said. “All credit to the guys. They recognize that and set the tone at the start of the second half.”
FOUR STRAIGHT WINS OVER THE CLIPPERS.
KAT – 24 PTS
Ant – 23 PTS / 7 REB / 8 AST
Rudy – 17 PTS / 10 REB / 4 BLK
NAW – 15 PTS / 2 STL
Naz Reid. – 11 PTS / 7 REB
Fine – 11 PTS pic.twitter.com/Yh6TShOhVj
-Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) February 13, 2024
The Timberwolves trailed 53-49 at halftime but took control in the third quarter, outscoring the Clippers 40-19.
“We are doing a good job of focusing. We listened to the coach and did a good job in the third quarter of adapting after seeing and not making the same sentence,” said Towns.
Minnesota started the second half with eight consecutive points, but it wasn't until the middle of the third quarter that they managed to recover.
Minnesota trailed 64-62 midway through the quarter before going on a 27-8 run to close out the third.
The Timberwolves went on a 12-2 spurt to close the quarter, with Towns scoring eight straight points and Edwards making a reverse layup to give them an 89-72 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Minnesota made 12 of 19 shots from the field in the quarter. Edwards and Towns were 6 of 6 from the line as the Timberwolves made all 13 of their foul shots in the period.
Meanwhile, the Clippers shot 7 of 20 from the field and committed five turnovers that resulted in six Minnesota points.
“We played very well in the first half. We were just wasting a little extra effort and giving them rebounds. Once we cleaned that up, we had great defensive possessions and were able to attack them,” Gobert said.
The Timberwolves' biggest lead was 24 points during the fourth quarter.
Paul George and Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers with 18 points each and James Harden added 17.
George became the Clippers' career 3-point leader with 7:23 left in the third quarter, hitting his 739th to pass Eric Piatkowski.
“They played better than us. Outplayed us, outplayed us and everything,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. “I thought just the physicality and attention to detail was better.”
Los Angeles, which is 27-7 since the beginning of December, is in third place in the Western Conference with a 35-17 record.
Timberwolves: At Portland for two straight games starting Tuesday.
Clippers: At Golden State on Wednesday.