Towns’ 28 points paces Timberwolves past Pelicans, 110-96

Nov 22, 2021, 5:42 AM | Updated: 9:19 pm
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) shoots over New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas...

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) shoots over New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas, right, in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Monday, Nov. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 points and 10 rebounds, and the Minnesota Timberwolves extended their winning streak to four with a 110-96 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night.

“I ain’t going to lie to you. I had a lot of coffee before the game so I was just trying to go downhill most of the game,” Towns said with a grin. “There’s a lot of caffeine in me.”

Caffeinated or not, the Timberwolves played with energy throughout, dominating the hustle categories. They converted 23 New Orleans turnovers into 28 points and 21 offensive rebounds into 26 second-chance points.

“We leaned into our defense,” Towns said. “I like the flow of the game that was going for us early on. … We really pushed the pace. We made things happen and consistently our discipline was there.”

Anthony Edwards scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half and Jarred Vanderbilt, who came in averaging five points per game, matched his season high with 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

Willy Hernangomez had 19 points and 11 rebounds for New Orleans, while Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 14. But the Pelicans did not get their usual production from Brandon Ingram, who shot 2 of 13, including 1 of 7 from deep, and finished with nine points and six turnovers.

“We didn’t come with a mentality to compete tonight and that’s on me,” Pelicans’ first-year coach Willie Green said. “I have to get our team ready to play.”

Highlighting his team’s turnovers and Minnesota’s offensive rebounds, Green added, “You can’t beat teams in this league giving them that many possessions.”

“All of it was frustrating,” added Green, whose team fell to 3-16. “I’m frustrated with that performance. … We as a unit have to play harder.”

Leading by 16 at halftime, the Timberwolves continued to pull away in the third quarter, opening up a 26-point lead when Vanderbilt banked in a 7-footer while being fouled by Herbert Jones for a 3-point play.

New Orleans never got closer than 14 points in the fourth quarter.

“I love our scheme,” Towns said. “I also think that we take pride in it.”

The Pelicans turned the ball over 14 times in the first half, leading to 23 Minnesota points, much of that coming in the second quarter, when the Timberwolves outscored New Orleans by 17 points.

Towns had 23 points in the first half, and his short floater put the Timberwolves up 59-46 late in the second quarter.

When Towns was blocked by Josh Hart on a drive in the final seconds of the half, Edwards grabbed the rebound and laid it in as time expired to give Minnesota a 66-50 halftime lead.


Timberwolves: D’Angelo Russell scored 11 points but went 1 for 10 from deep. … Patrick Beverley and Jaden McDaniel each scored 10 points.

Pelicans: Hart and Jonas Valanciunas each scored 13 points. … New Orleans has turned the ball over at least 17 times in each meeting with Minnesota, including a season-high 28 times on Oct. 23.


Garrett Temple was given a start at guard in place of Alexander-Walker. Temple scored eight points but committed four turnovers.

“We were 3-15. That went into the decision,” Green said when asked about the lineup adjustment. “Until we get it right, we got to continue to make adjustments and figure out what works.”


Minnesota made 10 of its 44 3-point attempts (22.7%), while the Pelicans missed 26 of 32 shots from deep.

“We haven’t shot the 3-ball well at all tonight, but we countered it by making them shoot worse than us,” Towns said.


While Towns downplayed the significance of a four-game winning streak in the context of a long season, he said Minnesota has responded better lately to having double-digit leads by staying aggressive on the offensive end.

“We’re still trying to put points up and still trying to build the lead instead of trying to hold the lead,” Towns said.


Timberwolves: Host Miami on Wednesday night.

Pelicans: Host Washington on Wednesday night.


More AP NBA: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Police cars wrecked in soccer riots are seen on the pitch at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Jav...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: What’s behind Indonesia’s deadly soccer match?

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Violence and a deadly stampede that erupted following a domestic league soccer match Saturday night marked another tragedy in Indonesian football. Here’s a look at how the chaos occurred and what is being done to prevent future incidents. ___ HOW DID THE CHAOS OCCUR? Chaos broke out after Persebaya Surabaya defeated […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Chambers 5 total TDs help Montana St. beat UC Davis 41-24

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Sean Chambers completed 13 of 21 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 203 yards and three TDs on 18 carries to help Montana State beat UC Davis 41-24 Saturday night. Chambers, a transfer from Wyoming who made his first career start in place of injured starter Tommy […]
1 day ago
Oregon quarterback Bo Nix (10) runs past Stanford coach David Shaw, right, on a long gain during th...
Associated Press

Nix has 4 TDs and No. 13 Oregon downs Stanford 45-27

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — When Oregon quarterback Bo Nix took off running in the third quarter, teammate Chase Cota was cheering for him to keep going. Nix indeed kept going, and going — all the way for an 80-yard touchdown. “I remember when I saw him get out and he was like 40 yards down […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

McCoy throws for 4 TDs, Idaho beats N. Colorado 55-35

MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) — Gevani McCoy completed 22 of 27 passes for 297 yards and four touchdowns, Elisha Cummings accounted for three TDs and Idaho beat Northern Colorado 55-35 Saturday night. Cummings finished with 78 yards rushing and two touchdowns on seven carries and his 12-yard TD catch midway through the fourth quarter made it […]
1 day ago
Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams, left, throws a touchdown pass as Arizona State defe...
Associated Press

Caleb Williams runs, passes No. 6 USC past Arizona St. 42-25

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Although Caleb Williams and No. 6 Southern California never trailed against Arizona State, the Trojans also couldn’t pull away during a fairly average first half by their newly ambitious standards under coach Lincoln Riley. “It just wasn’t quite us,” Riley said. “Wasn’t quite the edge that we’re used to playing with, […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Dunniway, Skattebo lead Sacramento St. past Cal Poly 49-21

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) — Jake Dunniway threw two touchdown passes, Cameron Skattebo scored three TDs, and Sacramento State beat Cal Poly 49-21 Saturday night for the Hornets seventh consecutive road win. The Hornets, ranked No. 5 in the FCS coaches poll, have not yet trailed in a game this season and have won […]
1 day ago
Towns’ 28 points paces Timberwolves past Pelicans, 110-96