MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Karl-Anthony Towns scored 24 points, including eight in the fourth quarter before fouling out, to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 119-111 win against the Miami Heat on Friday night.
Ricky Rubio added 17 points and Naz Reid scored 16 off the bench as Minnesota had seven players score in double-figures to overcome 21 turnovers. Towns keyed a 22-6 run midway through the fourth as the Timberwolves pulled away.
After consecutive losses at home by at least 25 points to Brooklyn and Milwaukee, Minnesota faced another Eastern Conference playoff contender. The Timberwolves finished strong to win for just the second time in six games, a stretch against all East teams.
Jimmy Butler had 30 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, but Miami lost its third straight game, all coming on the road. Trevor Ariza scored a season-high 21 points for the Heat, who started the night seventh in the East and a half-game ahead of Charlotte.
Miami appeared ready to put away the Wolves, the West’s worst team at the start of the day. The Heat finished the third quarter on a 15-5 and led by five points with Goran Dragic hitting a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
Towns didn’t let Minnesota fade away. He finished the pivotal fourth-quarter run with a deep 3 and walked back up the court holding out three fingers to the hometown crowd.