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Timberwolves finish off season sweep of Pelicans

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) posts up against New Orleans Pelicans guard Rajon Rondo (9) during the first quarter Saturday, Feb. 3, at Target Center. Jeffrey Becker / USA TODAY Sports

MINNEAPOLIS—Jimmy Butler scored 30 points as the Minnesota Timberwolves continued their mastery of the New Orleans Pelicans with a 118-107 victory Saturday night, Feb. 3, at Target Center.

The Timberwolves completed a four-game sweep of the season series, having beaten the Pelicans by an average of 13.3 points. Minnesota won its 12th consecutive home game and improved its home record to 22-6.

Karl-Anthony Towns added 22 points and 16 rebounds, Andrew Wiggins scored 15 points, Tyus Jones had 15 and Taj Gibson scored 12.

Anthony Davis, who had 43 points and 10 rebounds in a 114-100 victory at Oklahoma City on Friday, led New Orleans with 38 points, and he grabbed nine rebounds. Nikola Mirotic came off the bench to play in his first game since the Pelicans acquired him in a trade with Chicago on Thursday, scoring 18 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Cheick Diallo had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Butler, who scored eight points in the final four minutes of the first half to help the Timberwolves take a 13-point halftime lead, scored seven as Minnesota took a 78-57 lead early in the third quarter.

Mirotic scored eight points and Davis had seven, as New Orleans got within 11 before Towns scored the Timberwolves' last five points to take a 95-81 lead after three quarters.

The Pelicans got within 10 on a Mirotic layup before five points by Jones helped Minnesota take a 105-89 lead with 7:44 remaining. The lead never shrunk to fewer than 10 points after that.

The Timberwolves scored the first nine points of the game and built a 26-8 cushion as Towns scored 11 points.

The Pelicans then made a push during the last half of the first quarter. Davis scored 13 and Mirotic got his first field goal as New Orleans closed within 37-29 at the end of the period.

Mirotic's basket started the second-quarter scoring before Minnesota created more separation. Jones scored eight points, and the Timberwolves took a 49-33 lead.

Ian Clark scored five points, as the Pelicans got within 10 before Butler scored eight and Minnesota took a 66-53 lead into halftime.