Towns, Timberwolves fend off Bulls in final seconds
Karl-Anthony Towns recorded 27 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists to help the Minnesota Timberwolves notch a 121-117 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday night in Minneapolis.
D’Angelo Russell also scored 27 points and fellow reserve Naz Reid had 18 points for Minnesota. Ricky Rubio made five 3-pointers while adding 17 points and nine assists, and Anthony Edwards had 15 points for the Timberwolves.
— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) April 12, 2021
Zach LaVine registered 30 points, seven rebounds and six assists and Nikola Vucevic scored 18 points for the Bulls, who lost for the 10th time in the past 14 games.
Troy Brown Jr. scored 15 points, Daniel Theis added 13, Coby White tallied 11 and Tomas Satoransky had 10 for Chicago.
The Timberwolves made all 25 of their free-throw attempts while winning for just the fourth time in the past 13 games.
Minnesota shot 49.4 percent from the field, including 16 of 36 from 3-point range.
The Bulls made 51.1 percent of their shots, including 15 of 38 from behind the arc, and never led after the game’s opening four-plus minutes.
Russell made a jumper with 3:36 left in the game and added a 3-pointer 25 seconds later to give Minnesota a 114-106 lead.
The Bulls later moved within 116-113 on Coby White’s layup with 57 seconds remaining.
Towns drained a 3-pointer to push the lead to six, but LaVine scored back-to-back baskets as Chicago crept within 119-117 with 11.3 seconds left.
Towns made two free throws with 9.3 seconds remaining to make it a four-point margin. LaVine missed a 3-pointer and Edwards grabbed the rebound as Minnesota ran out the clock.
Russell scored 16 points to help Minnesota hold a 66-55 lead at the break.
The Timberwolves were 10 of 19 from 3-point range and made all 14 free throws in the half.
Minnesota protected the lead throughout the third quarter and led 85-74 after Edwards’ basket with 3:55 left.
The Bulls responded with a 13-4 push to move within two before Russell made a basket to give the Timberwolves a 91-87 advantage entering the final stanza.
Chicago moved within 105-104 on Brown’s putback with 4:43 remaining, but Rubio and Towns responded with baskets to give Minnesota a five-point edge.