Butler, Towns carry Timberwolves past Bucks
MINNEAPOLIS — Jimmy Butler had 28 points and Karl-Anthony Towns had 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 108-89 victory over the visiting Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday at Target Center.
Khris Middleton had 21 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo added 17 points and 15 rebounds to lead Milwaukee, which had its four-game winning streak snapped.
Minnesota, which entered the game with four losses in its last five games, dominated from early in the second quarter. The Timberwolves led by double-digits minutes into the second quarter and increased the lead to 23 on the first play of the third quarter on an Andrew Wiggins alley-oop dunk from Jeff Teague. Milwaukee trimmed the lead to as little as 15, but the Timberwolves built the lead back up to 20 down the stretch.
The Timberwolves (33-22) shot 54 percent from the field and held the Bucks (27-23) to 38 percent shooting, including just 21 percent (6 for 29) from 3-point range. Towns and Butler were both efficient from the field - Towns hit 10 of 13 and Butler made 8 of 15.
Milwaukee, which expects to get starting forward and former No. 2 pick Jabari Parker back from a year absence because of a torn ACL on Friday, lost starting point guard Malcolm Brogdon to a left quad strain in the second quarter.
Brogdon's backup, Matthew Dellavedova, finished with zero points in 25 minutes.
Minnesota cruised to the win despite having just Towns and Butler in double-figures. Wiggins finished with just seven points, but four Timberwolves had either eight or nine points, including Teague, who had nine points to go along with his eight assists.
Milwaukee claimed the battle of the boards, 43-39, but the Timberwolves outdid the Bucks in assists, 27-19, and had seven blocks compared to one for Milwaukee.
The 19-point loss was the Bucks' second big loss in six games, including a 116-94 loss at Philadelphia on Jan. 20.
The Bucks host the New York Knicks on Friday. Minnesota hosts New Orleans on Saturday.