T-Wolves win 132-129 in 2OTs to hurt Wiz playoff hopes
WASHINGTON (AP) Karl-Anthony Towns scored 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and the Minnesota Timberwolves dealt a blow to the Washington Wizards’ playoff hopes with a 132-129 double-overtime victory Friday night.
Zach LaVine added 25 points, and Gorgui Dieng scored 18 while helping the Timberwolves to comebacks at the end of regulation and the second overtime.
Bradley Beal scored 26 points as the 10th-place Wizards fell 3 1/2 games behind Detroit for the Eastern Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot.
John Wall had 22 points and a season-high tying 16 assists, and Marcin Gortat had 19 points and 14 rebounds for Washington. But Gortat missed a pair of free throws with a chance to take the lead late in the second overtime.
Minnesota hit all 22 of its foul shots for its first back-to-back wins since Feb. 3 and 6.
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Down five in the second overtime, Andrew Wiggins hit a putback and Dieng made a pair of jumpers, the second off LaVine’s pass to put Minnesota up 130-129.
After Jared Dudley missed a 3-pointer for Washington, Dieng fouled Gortat on the rebound. But Gortat, who entered the game shooting 72.4 percent from the line, missed both foul shots.
After a timeout, Towns made a layup off Tayshaun Prince’s inbounds feed to push the lead to three with 11.6 seconds left. Dudley missed another 3 from the top of the arc at the buzzer as Minnesota held on.
Minnesota had already rallied twice to force extra basketball.
Down four in the first overtime, LaVine hit two 3-pointers in a stretch of just over 12 seconds, the second an off-balance shot from the left wing that tied it at 121 with 11.8 seconds left
To end regulation Dieng keyed an 8-1 run to help Minnesota pull even. After converting a three-point play, Gorgui’s baseline 3-pointer off Wiggins’ feed tied it at 109 with 19.9 seconds left.
Timberwolves: Towns set a Minnesota rookie rebounding record, pushing his season total to 741. Kevin Love is second in franchise history with 734. ... LaVine scored 12 of his points in the second quarter. ... The Timberwolves have won three of their last five road games after winning three of their previous 24 away from home.
Wizards: Beal’s fourth straight start (right leg stress reaction) is his longest such stretch since early December. ... F Markief Morris left following the first quarter with a left calf cramp. ... With Morris out, Washington began the third quarter with Gortat at center and Nene at forward. ... Reserve G Marcus Thornton had a 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter waved off after a replay review showed it came moments after the buzzer. ... Wall’s double-double was his eighth straight.
Timberwolves: Host Utah on Saturday.
Wizards: At the Lakers on Sunday.