NBA: Timberwolves fend off Pelicans
Karl-Anthony Towns scored a team-high 25 points, Anthony Edwards finished with 19 points and nine rebounds, and the Minnesota Timberwolves held on for a 96-89 win over the visiting New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night.
D’Angelo Russell and Naz Reid added 12 points apiece for Minnesota, which won its second game in a row to start the season. Patrick Beverley scored five points and dished six assists in his Timberwolves debut.
Brandon Ingram scored 30 points for the Pelicans, who remained winless after three games. Jonas Valanciunas had 20 points and 17 rebounds, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker also notched a double-double with 14 points and 14 boards.
The Timberwolves entered the fourth quarter with a 69-67 lead. Pelicans rookie Trey Murphy III drained a 3-pointer to even the score at 67 with 37.5 seconds left, but Reid responded with a layup on the other end to give the Timberwolves a two-point lead going into the final 12 minutes.
Russell helped the Timberwolves hang on for the victory in the final minutes. He scored eight of his 12 points in the final 4:47, including a pair of 3-pointers and a fadeaway jump shot.
THERE'S ICE IN HIS VEINS pic.twitter.com/pjfspyk1Cf
— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) October 24, 2021
Minnesota led 54-41 at the half.
The Timberwolves opened the game on an 8-0 run thanks to 3-pointers by Edwards and Towns, in addition to a layup by Towns. The lead did not last for long as New Orleans responded with a 12-0 run to grab a four-point edge.
The Pelicans fell behind by as many as nine points later during the first quarter, but they cut the deficit to 28-27 entering the second quarter.
The score was even at 33 early in the second quarter when Minnesota went on a 13-0 run to go ahead by double digits. Edwards capped the scoring binge with a step-back 3-pointer, which followed a floating jump shot by Russell.
New Orleans rallied in the third quarter. Trailing by 10 points with 7:05 remaining in the period, the Pelicans went on a 10-0 run to even things up with 3:42 to go. Valanciunas had six points during the run, including a cutting layup off a feed from Herbert Jones.