Towns scores 40, Wolves beat Wizards in OT
MINNEAPOLIS — Moments after Minnesota’s hard-fought win, the focus shifted to the health of the Timberwolves’ best player.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 40 points and 16 rebounds before leaving in the final seconds of regulation with a knee injury, and Derrick Rose helped Minnesota beat the Washington Wizards 135-130 in overtime on Saturday night.
“We played with a lot of urgency tonight,” Rose said. “We played together and that’s one of the reasons why we came back and got into the game.”
The Timberwolves outscored the Wizards 14-9 in the extra period to earn their fifth straight home win. Rose scored 29 points, including a wild 19-footer that put the Wolves up 131-127 with 58.2 seconds to play.
Towns spent the overtime period in the trainer’s room after coming up limping in the final seconds of regulation. It wasn’t immediately clear how the All-Star center was injured. He wasn’t made available to reporters after the game.
“I can’t lie, it’s tough,” Rose said. “You can’t believe it at first, but that’s why we’re pros and that’s why the guy that’s coming off the bench behind him has to come out and give us his all.”
Interim coach Ryan Saunders said Towns would undergo further testing, and he hadn’t heard any concerns of a major injury.
“He’s just had initial evaluations, but he was walking around so there’s really no info at the moment,” Saunders said.
Bradley Beal led Washington with 36 points and Trevor Ariza added 27.
Trailing 121-118, Beal sent the game to overtime with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. With 1.8 seconds left, Ariza inbounded to Beal, who shook off Taj Gibson and drained the shot. Washington was able to reset after the Wolves fouled Beal in transition.
Washington scored 71 first-half points, but only 50 in the second. The Wolves only had six more total rebounds than Washington, but grabbed 19 offensive rebounds to the Wizards’ 10.
“We got killed on the boards and with turnovers,” Beal said. “We’ve got to be better than that. We’ve got to close it out. We gave ourselves a great opportunity down the stretch to win it.”
Keita Bates-Diop missed the second of two foul shots with 7.7 seconds left. Beal hit a layup with 3.5 seconds remaining, and Rose made two free throws, setting up the final play in regulation.
“Brad made some plays down the stretch to get it to overtime, which was huge, and then we couldn’t execute and play defense,” coach Scott Brooks said.
Wizards: Beal and Tomas Satoransky combined for 20 of Washington’s 31 assists. … Bobby Portis had 21 points for his ninth 20-point game of the season and third in his last four games. … The NBA’s official Last Two-Minute Report from Friday night’s loss at Charlotte indicated a foul should have been called against Marvin Williams for grabbing Portis’ arm after Beal’s missed shot attempt with four seconds to play. A foul would’ve sent Portis to the line with Washington trailing by one. Later that night, Portis took to Twitter to vent his frustrations. “Those are three good referees, and they didn’t do it on purpose,” Brooks said. “They made a mistake. We had plenty of chances to win the game.”
Timberwolves: Bates-Diop scored 12 points in his first career start. He started in place of Andrew Wiggins, who was sidelined by a right quad contusion. … The Wolves signed F Cameron Reynolds to another 10-day contract. He had appeared in two games this season. Reynolds played 20 minutes and scored five points.
Wizards: Host Sacramento on Monday.
Timberwolves: Host the New York Knicks on Sunday.