Timberwolves rout Pelicans, give Chris Finch first coaching win
Jaylen Nowell scored 28 points and Anthony Edwards added 27 points as the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves ended a nine-game losing streak by routing the New Orleans Pelicans 135-105 on Thursday night.
The Timberwolves won their first game in six tries under new coach Chris Finch, a one-time New Orleans assistant who was hired from Toronto’s staff when Ryan Saunders was fired last month.
Minnesota, which has the worst record in the NBA, won for just the eighth time and improved to 2-0 against the Pelicans. The host Wolves won 120-110 on Jan. 23.
Jaden McDaniels scored 20, Karl-Anthony Towns had 16, Naz Reid had 15 and Jake Layman 12.
Zion Williamson scored 24 points, Steven Adams had 13 points and 12 rebounds, Brandon Ingram scored 13, Jaxson Hayes and Kira Lewis Jr. added 11 each and Lonzo Ball and Nickeil Alexander-Walker 10 each to lead New Orleans.
The Wolves made 19 of 40 3-pointers and the Pelicans made six of 32.
Minnesota turned a 16-point first-quarter deficit into a seven-point halftime lead, which grew to 12 points twice early in the third quarter.
Edwards scored five straight points as the Wolves extended their lead to 88-70 midway through the quarter.
Adams’ tip-in ended a more than three-minute scoring drought for New Orleans, but Minnesota increased the lead to 20 on two occasions before grabbing a 105-82 lead at the end of the quarter.
The Wolves led by 30 midway through the fourth quarter.
The score was tied at four before Williamson had seven points and an assist during a 9-0 run.
Ricky Rubio’s layup ended the run and the Pelicans extended the lead to 24-8 before the Wolves’ offense picked up. McDaniel had seven points as Minnesota used a 19-10 run to cut the deficit to 34-27 at the end of the first quarter.
New Orleans scored the first five points and still had a 10-point lead before the Wolves turned things around. They pulled even at 46 and the score was tied twice more before Minnesota finished with a 14-7 run to take a 67-60 halftime lead.
–Field Level Media
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