Schroder scores 26, Paul 25 as Thunder beat T-Wolves 113-104
By Andres Ybarra
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Dennis Schroder scored 26 points and Chris Paul had 25 to lead Oklahoma City to its fifth-straight win, 113-104 over the slumping Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.
Karl-Anthony Towns scored 37 for the Timberwolves, who cut a 20-point deficit to five in the final minutes but lost their ninth in a row. The All-Star center has scored 30 points in three straight games for the second time in his career, but saw uneven production from his teammates.
Oklahoma City, meanwhile, had seven players in double figures. Paul had 10 points during a 31-12 run that appeared to give the Thunder control in the third. The Wolves managed to climb back late. Robert Covington’s 3-pointer with 1:07 to play made it 109-104, but Paul answered with a floater in the lane and Schroder added a pair of free-throws to put the game out of reach.
Andrew Wiggins scored 22 for Minnesota, and Shabazz Napier had his first-career triple-double with 10 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds.
Towns scored 19 of Minnesota’s first 20 points, but the Wolves failed to find any early offense when he took a rest. The rest of the team went 1 for 13 from the floor in the first quarter, while Schroder came off the bench to score 10 in the period to steadily push the Thunder.
Thunder: Steven Adams played 23 minutes in his return to the lineup after missing two games with a sprained left ankle. Adams was held scoreless, yet provided a big body to harass Towns. … The team said C Nerlens Noel underwent a successful procedure to repair a fractured left cheek, and that his status would be updated next week. Noel, who’s averaging 8.2 points and 5.2 rebounds, sustained the injury Friday night against Atlanta. … F Danilo Gallinari was also out with a sore left thumb injured Friday night.
Timberwolves: G Allen Crabbe limped to the locker room with a left knee injury after a hard fall in the first quarter. He did not return. … Rookie Jarrett Culver was back in the starting lineup a night after Josh Okogie started in the back court to guard Houston’s James Harden. … The Wolves recalled G Jaylen Nowell from the G League on Saturday. The second-round pick in the 2019 draft averaged 21 points in 24 games with the Iowa Wolves.
Thunder: Host Dallas Mavericks on Monday.
Timberwolves: Host Sacramento Kings on Monday.