NBA: Hornets spoil Karl-Anthony Towns' career night, stun Wolves

NBA: Hornets spoil Karl-Anthony Towns’ career night, stun Timberwolves

/ 12:44 PM January 23, 2024

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Leaky Black Hornets vs Timberwolves NBA

Charlotte Hornets forward Leaky Black, left, and guard Terry Rozier (3) celebrate after their win against the Minnesota Timberwolves in an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 22, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

MINNEAPOLIS  — Karl-Anthony Towns scored a franchise-record 62 points, including 44 in the first half, but the Charlotte Hornets erased an 18-point deficit and stunned the Minnesota Timberwolves 128-125 on Monday night in the NBA.

Towns managed just four points on 2-for-10 shooting in the fourth quarter, when the Timberwolves were outscored 36-18. He thought he was fouled on a drive to the basket in the closing seconds and Minnesota trailing by one, then was short on a 3-point attempt on the final possession.

Miles Bridges scored 28 points and Brandon Miller had 27 for the Hornets. Leaky Black ripped the ball away from Towns on his way to the basket to preserve the Hornets’ 10th victory of the season.

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Charlotte went ahead for good at 122-121 on P.J. Washington’s floater with 3:21 remaining. LaMelo Ball added 18 points for the Hornets, who had lost seven of their past eight games and had the Eastern Conference’s third-worst mark entering Monday.

Towns finished 21 for 35 from the floor, including 10 for 15 from 3-point range, and now owns the top three scoring outputs in the Wolves’ 35-year history.

The Wolves ran an isolation look for Towns with 12 seconds left, but Black blocked his driving layup attempt then hit a pair of free throws at the other end.

Towns’ desperation 3 inside the final second ensured the 21st time in NBA history a player has scored 60 or more points in a loss.

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Ball returned after a one-game absence due to a sore right ankle. He had missed 20 games before playing in four straight then sitting out the Hornets’ 97-89 loss against Philadelphia on Saturday.

The short-handed Hornets again deployed an undersized front court, with 6-foot-7 center Washington starting for the injured Nick Richards (right ankle sprain). Center Mark Williams and forward Gordon Hayward continue to recover from a lower back injury and left calf strain, respectively.

Forward Cody Martin also missed Monday’s game with a right knee contusion.

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TAGS: Charlotte Hornets, Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA

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