Jordan, Clippers beat Timberwolves 110-106
DeAndre Jordan had 20 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks to lift the Los Angeles Clippers to a 110-106 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.
Blake Griffin had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Chris Paul made a surprise return to the lineup after missing the previous two games with a rib injury for the Clippers (12-9), who have won five of their last six games. Paul finished with 14 points and five assists in 32 minutes.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 18 points on 7-for-9 shooting, including 3 of 3 from 3-point range for the Timberwolves (8-12), who fell to 2-9 at home. Zach LaVine scored 21 and Shabazz Muhammad added 13 points and nine rebounds.
Los Angeles went 26 for 29 at the free throw line and even Jordan was 4 of 6.
The Clippers trailed 98-95 with a minute to play after a flurry by LaVine, but Jordan threw down an alley-oop and then blocked a shot by LaVine. Griffin scored on a layup for a 99-98 lead with 25 seconds to play. The Clippers won a free throw shooting contest down the stretch.
Andrew Wiggins struggled mightily for Minnesota, scoring just eight points on 3-for-15 shooting. He also missed four of five free throws.
Paul was listed as out on Sunday with those sore ribs, but coach Doc Rivers said Paul got some shots up Sunday night and determined he felt good enough to play. Rivers said he was surprised by the late change, and so were the Timberwolves.
Paul shot only 5 of 14 and the Clippers leaned heavily on Jamal Crawford (18 points, seven assists) to help out.
Jordan was a force early for the Clippers, scoring eight straight points and 12 of their first 14 by attacking the glass and throwing down dunks. But he went quiet over the next two quarters while the Wolves pushed in front in the third.
The 39-year-old Kevin Garnett’s soaring dunk over Griffin – the kind of dunk that used to end up on posters back when posters were cool and KG was leading the Timberwolves to the Western Conference finals – got the Target Center thumping.
The crowd roared and Towns, who wasn’t even born when Garnett made his NBA debut in 1995, went crazy. It was Garnett’s first dunk in a Timberwolves uniform since April 9, 2007, the final season before he was traded to Boston.
Garnett howled at Griffin after the dunk, drawing a technical foul for his antics. The Clippers withstood that storm and closed the game with a 13-8 spurt to hang on.
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