Seven straight losses for Wolves

Clippers blow big lead, hold on for win

AP
December 14, 2019 - 9:28 am
Karl-Anthony Towns of the Wolves beats Maurice Harkless of the Clippers

USA Today Sports

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Timberwolves tried to stop Paul George and Kawhi Leonard at the same time.

They found out it was really hard.

George and Leonard showed what the Los Angeles Clippers had in mind when they teamed up the superstar duo Friday night. George scored 46 points, Kawhi Leonard had 42 and the Clippers held on for the 124-117 win that was the seventh straight loss by the Timberwolves.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 39 points and 12 rebounds for Minnesota. Towns had 14 points, including a 4-point play, in a 22-6 fourth-quarter run that trimmed a 21-point Los Angeles lead to five.

Andrew Wiggins added 34 points for the Timberwolves. His basket with 1:04 left cut the Clippers' lead to 119-115. Minnesota didn't get closer than four the rest of the way.

“Disappointed from the loss, but we fought back,” said Andrew Wiggins. “We were down big. Dug ourselves a hole. We fought back though. We went out swinging.”

The Timberwolves took a 51-50 lead in the second quarter with a 15-2 run, capped by a Towns 3-pointer. Leonard responded with seven consecutive points to give the Clippers the lead for good.

George started the third quarter with a 7-0 run of his own. He scored 16 in the third, when Los Angeles took control by outscoring Minnesota 37-23.

“Forty-six and forty-two, they make it very tough on you,” Minnesota coach Ryan Saunders said.

Leonard's 31 first-half points set a career high for points in a half. He tied a career high for points in a first quarter with 16.

“We got into our spots early, made shots,” Leonard said. “Paul carried us in that second half.”

Montrezl Harrell scored 18 points for the Clippers. Jeff Teague scored 22 for the Timberwolves.

TIP-INS

Timberwolves: Forward Jake Layman missed his 11th consecutive game with a left toe sprain. Forward Keita Bates-Diop returned to the rotation after missing Wednesday's loss to Utah with flu-like symptoms. All 10 of Robert Covington's points came in the second quarter.

OLD FRIENDS

Assistant coach Sam Cassell and Minnesota coach Ryan Saunders were assistant coaches on the Washington staff from 2009-14. Cassell also played two seasons for the Timberwolves from 2003-05 when Saunders' father, Flip, was the coach.

“I can go on and on about how good of a person he is,” Ryan Saunders said.

UP NEXT

The Timberwolves host New Orleans on Wednesday. Minnesota has won six of the past eight meetings with the Pelicans.

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