Timberwolves (5-3), Pelicans (3-5)
New Orleans’ two All-Star bigs combined to score 59 points and grab 19 rebounds. Minnesota’s budding frontcourt star – who figures to appear in many future All-Star Games – had a night to forget, with two points and five rebounds. Still, behind a vastly improved and deeper roster overall, the Timberwolves managed to lead for much of Wednesday’s matchup and made plays in the clutch to post a road win. Minnesota marquee summer trade acquisition Jimmy Butler made the biggest shot of the game, converting a difficult three-point play on an off-balance jump shot with 34 seconds left, breaking a 98-all tie. Despite Karl-Anthony Towns being in persistent foul trouble and only scoring one basket, the Timberwolves prevailed, with six other players picking up the slack and delivering double-digit scoring.
DeMarcus Cousins tallied 35 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the Pelicans; fellow perennial All-Star big Anthony Davis notched 24 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
The Pelicans committed a costly turnover on a bad pass in the final 30 seconds while trailing by three points, followed by Butler sinking a free throw to make it a two-possession game at 102-98 with 19 seconds left. New Orleans came up empty in its final attempts to score, not getting many high-percentage looks.