NBA: Timberwolves rally to beat Clippers, Kawhi Leonard injured

NBA: Timberwolves rally to beat Clippers, Kawhi Leonard injured

/ 01:26 PM March 13, 2024

Anthony Edwards Timberwolves beat Clippers NBA

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (5) takes an off-balance shot against Los Angeles Clippers guard Terance Mann (14), forward Paul George (13) and guard Norman Powell (24) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 12, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

LOS ANGELES — Anthony Edwards scored 37 points, Nickeil Alexander-Walker added a season-high 28 and the Minnesota Timberwolves roared back from an early 22-point deficit for a 118-100 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night in the NBA.

Kawhi Leonard left the game with back spasms between the first two quarters, the Clippers said. He played the entire first quarter, but he was seen leaving the Clippers’ downtown arena during the second quarter.

Mike Conley scored 23 points with five 3-pointers for the Timberwolves, who avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season with a huge rally following Leonard’s departure. Rudy Gobert had eight points and 11 rebounds before leaving the game late with an apparent chest injury.

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After trailing 57-35 midway through the second quarter, Minnesota seized control in the second half and finished the team’s largest comeback since November 2012.

Paul George scored 22 points and James Harden had 12 for the Clippers, who have lost two straight games for only the second time since Christmas. George and Leonard returned after they skipped the Clippers’ home loss to Milwaukee in the club’s second home tipoff in 22 hours last Sunday, although Leonard didn’t last long.

Alexander-Walker hit five 3-pointers during his highest-scoring performance in a Minnesota uniform while the Timberwolves improved to 2-2 on their six-game road trip.

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Although Karl-Anthony Towns is out with the knee injury that’s likely to sideline him until the playoffs, Gobert returned from a one-game absence with a right hamstring injury. Gobert then apparently injured his ribs or sternum at some point in the second half, heading to the locker room in obvious pain.

Kyle Anderson had 10 points and seven assists in his return to the Timberwolves’ starting lineup after an absence with right shoulder pain, but guard Monte Morris missed his third straight game with a strained left hamstring.

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Minnesota committed six turnovers while falling behind by 15 points in the first quarter, and Los Angeles’ lead ballooned to 57-35 midway through the second before the Wolves made a 20-2 run shortly before halftime. The Wolves took their first lead early in the third quarter, and the Clippers managed just 15 points with nine turnovers in the period.

Towns underwent surgery on the torn meniscus in his left knee, and the Timberwolves won’t evaluate him for another four weeks. He seems likely to miss the rest of the regular season, but coach Chris Finch said Towns’ absence for much of last season with a calf injury prepared Minnesota for his current absence.

“Everybody goes through a tough stretch at some point (because of injuries),” Finch said. “We’re getting it now.”

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NEXT SCHEDULE

Timberwolves: At Utah on Saturday.

Clippers: At Chicago on Thursday.

TAGS: Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA

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