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Bench erupts in second half as Timberwolves down short-handed Warriors

Karl-Anthony Towns did a lot of the heavy lifting for Minnesota (21-22) through the first three frames. The center finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds in 30 minutes.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) protects the ball as he tries to get around Golden State Warriors forward Kevon Looney in the first quarter Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Bruce Kluckhohn / USA Today Sports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Timberwolves have followed up winning streaks with losing streaks and vice versa all season, establishing no semblance of consistency and going back and forth around the .500 mark all season.

They were on the verge of doing so again Sunday. Losers of two straight entering the contest, Minnesota was struggling with a Warriors’ team that didn’t have Draymond Green nor Steph Curry, and had Klay Thompson on a tight minutes restriction.

But then they flipped the switch in the third to build an advantage and eventually cruise to a 119-99 victory at Target Center.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Minnesota Timberwolves
Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II (00) commits a flagrant foul against Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jaylen Nowell on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, at Target Center.
Bruce Kluckhohn / USA Today Sports

Minnesota was able to play its second unit, the culprit in the Timberwolves’ loss Thursday in Memphis, which was excellent over the final 24 minutes. Everything looks a little better for Minnesota when Malik Beasley is hitting shots, and he knocked them down in bunches in the second half.

Beasley registered five triples over the final two quarters to finish with 16 points. In his return to action after missing one game with an ankle injury, Jaylen Nowell continued to flex his scoring prowess, finishing with 17 points on 6 for 9 shooting.

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Naz Reid scored nine points on 4 for 5 shooting.

Karl-Anthony Towns did a lot of the heavy lifting for Minnesota (21-22) through the first three frames. The center finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds in 30 minutes.

He and Beasley’s offensive eruption late in the third quarter helped Minnesota flip what was a three-point deficit in the middle of the third quarter into a 10-point lead heading to the final quarter. From there, Finch was able to rely on the reserves to not only maintain the advantage, but extend it to the point where the game was no longer in doubt.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Minnesota Timberwolves
Golden State Warriors Klay Thompson dribbles around Minnesota Timberwolves forward Anthony Edwards on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Bruce Kluckhohn / USA Today Sports

The Wolves led by as many as 27 in the fourth quarter.

Andrew Wiggins tallied 12 points and four assists, while Jonathan Kuminga, whom Golden State selected with the No. 7 pick in the most recent draft — the first-round pick acquired in the D’Angelo Russell trade — had 19 points and seven rebounds.

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