Timberwolves close strong late to put away Chicago

The Karl-Anthony Towns-D’Angelo Russell pick and roll is a lethal one for Minnesota.

Few teams have the defensive capabilities to prevent at least one of the ball handler or the screener from getting a good look out of the set — Chicago certainly does not. So Russell and Towns took turns down the stretch lighting the Bulls up Sunday night at Target Center.

The duo combined for 54 points, including 21 in the final frame as Minnesota beat the Bulls 121-117.

Russell scored 27 points on 9 for 13 shooting.

The Timberwolves started out well for the second straight game, building their second straight halftime lead — their 10th of the season. Minnesota was in relative control throughout.

Naz Reid scored 18 points, while Anthony Edwards added 15 and Rubio had 17 on the strength of 5 for 6 shooting from deep.

Minnesota shot 49 percent from the field and 44 percent from deep. Zach LaVine had 30 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Chicago.

LaVine went back and forth with the Russell-Towns duo down the stretch in a showcase of clutch shot making, but Minnesota got just enough stops down the stretch to close it out.

The win came on the night in which the Wolves honored Towns’ late mother — Jackie Towns — at the arena. Jackie died last spring amid her battle with COVID-19. The Timberwolves showed a photo reel during shootaround and had an honorary seat with a Towns jersey lit up before the playing of the national anthem.. Karl Towns Sr. was in attendance at the game.

Towns finished with 27 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. As he knocked down a pair of free-throws to essentially ice the game with nine seconds left, his father, stationed courtside, stood, applauded at pointed at his son.

After the game, Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach LaVine and Karl Towns Sr. joined together for an embrace.

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