Towns’ free throw lifts Wolves over Warriors in OT
By Joe Ziemer
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Karl-Anthony Towns made a free throw with 0.5 seconds remaining in overtime after Stephen Curry led a frantic rally to tie the game, lifting the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 131-130 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.
Minnesota led by nine with 1:41 remaining in the extra period before Curry made three 3-pointers during an 11-2 run, including the tying one from the corner with 0.5 seconds left.
But Towns was fouled by Kevin Durant on the ensuing inbounds pass. He made the first free throw to give him 15 points, missed the second and time expired as Towns secured the offensive rebound.
Curry made 11 3-pointers and scored 37 points for the Warriors, who dropped into a tie with Denver for the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Durant added 23 points.
Andrew Wiggins scored 24 points, his fifth consecutive game with 20 points or more, for Minnesota. Jerryd Bayless scored 17 points as eight Timberwolves scored in double figures.
The Warriors, who had won two consecutive games, led by as many as 19 points in the first half before the Timberwolves rallied in the third quarter. Minnesota put together a 32-13 run to end the period.
Anthony Tolliver’s 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter gave the Timberwolves their first lead since 16-15 in the first quarter. Minnesota led by as many as nine in the fourth quarter before Golden State tied the game at 115 on Draymond Green’s free throw with 21 seconds remaining. Wiggins had two chances to win the game in regulation.
Tolliver, Bayless and Josh Okogie each hit 3-pointers in overtime to help Minnesota build its nine-point advantage.
Warriors: C DeMarcus Cousins had 16 points and nine rebounds before fouling out with 7:06 to play. . F Jordan Bell was active after missing Wednesday’s win in Memphis because of a team suspension. . Curry, Cousins and a group of approximately 20 that included coaches and staff attended the Minnesota Twins’ season opener on Thursday. Curry noticed the glare of the Target Field lights in his hotel window when the Warriors arrived in Minneapolis late Wednesday night. “It caught my eye, and I realized it was opening day. I made some calls to see if we could get in there,” Curry said. “Nice fresh air, good weather. It was fun.” . C Damian Jones (left pectoral surgery) was the only Warrior missing because of injury.
Timberwolves: Wiggins fouled out with 2:21 left in overtime. F Taj Gibson (strained left calf) and F Luol Deng (left Achilles tendon soreness) did not play. Gibson has missed four consecutive games, while Deng has missed 14 straight.
GUEST OF HONOR
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was in attendance Friday. Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders fondly recalled Silver reaching out to him after he was named interim coach Jan. 6.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him,” Saunders said, “because he’s done great things for our league and continues to do great things.”
Warriors: Host Charlotte on Sunday.
Timberwolves: Host Philadelphia on Saturday.