MINNEAPOLIS — Karl-Anthony Cities had 27 factors and a profession-excessive 27 rebounds to assist the Minnesota Timberwolves maintain off Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans for a 110-106 victory on Saturday night time that was the primary at house for interim head coach Ryan Saunders.
Cities swished a three-pointer to make it 106-103 with 2:55 left, giving the Timberwolves the lead for good. Then he blocked a three-level attempt by Davis on the opposite finish, triggering a quick break that Tyus Jones completed with a layup.
Davis had 30 factors and 14 rebounds for his 13th consecutive double-double. Jrue Vacation added 25 factors and 7 assists for the Pelicans, who pulled inside 108-106 on Vacation’s three-level play with 2:23 remaining.
However Cities blocked one other three-level try by Davis with 1:37 left that may have put the Pelicans in entrance, and the Timberwolves took it from there. Jones and Dario Saric every added 14 factors on 2-for-three capturing from three-level vary off the bench to assist offset a 7-for-33 efficiency behind the arc by the remainder of the crew.
This was a essential recreation for the Wolves, coming off a 4-level loss to Dallas right here the night time earlier than and going through some severe catching up to do within the relentless Western Convention race so as to return to the playoffs. The Mavericks, Pelicans and Wolves all entered the night tied for 11th place, 2 half video games beneath the reduce.
The Wolves performed with out second-main scorer Derrick Rose, who has missed all three video games in opposition to the Pelicans this season, for precaution on the second of the back-to-back nights due to his return on Friday from a six-recreation absence to a sprained proper ankle.
The Pelicans introduced an identical urgency, starting a stretch of 5 straight street video games in opposition to Western Convention foes. That they had dropping streaks of 4, 5 and 6 straight video games over the primary half of their schedule, slumps that can loom giant down the stretch.
Pelicans: Julius Randle had his 21st double-double of the season, with 22 factors and 11 rebounds. … E’Twaun Moore (bruised left quadriceps) returned from a two-recreation absence however had solely two factors on 1-for-6 capturing in 31 minutes.
Timberwolves: Jeff Teague had two factors and 10 assists in 21 minutes however spent the fourth quarter on the bench after showing to irritate his ankle harm. … Luol Deng performed for the primary time in 13 video games and simply the fifth time all season, with an look within the second quarter.
BIG BLUE BIG MEN
These New Orleans-Minnesota matchups since Cities entered the league three seasons in the past, and into the longer term as long as Davis stays with the Pelicans, have incessantly featured two of the NBA’s greatest huge males in a prolific new-faculty duel unfolding primarily within the low publish however typically on the perimeter, too.
They had been each first general picks within the draft, too, three years aside from the skilled basketball participant manufacturing unit at Kentucky below coach John Calipari. Whether or not or not Davis and Cities really play with extra depth in opposition to one another is troublesome to gauge, in fact, however their strains within the field rating are virtually at all times full.
“I am certain Cal makes use of this as a recruiting instrument,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry stated, “however you are taking part in in opposition to nice Kentucky gamers each night time on this league so it isn’t an enormous deal to these guys.”
Over their first 5 conferences in Minnesota, Cities averaged 25.2 factors and 13.eight rebounds in opposition to New Orleans. Davis averaged 30.four factors and 10 rebounds.
Pelicans: Face the Clippers in Los Angeles on Monday.
Timberwolves: Play at Philadelphia on Tuesday, their first recreation in opposition to the 76ers since All-Star Jimmy Butler was traded there two months in the past. The Wolves are 17-13 for the reason that deal.