Wolves Fastbreak: New Orleans' rally ruins Minnesota's win streak
MINNEAPOLIS — Zion Williamson scored seven of his 37 points in overtime and the New Orleans Pelicans came back to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 140-136 on Saturday.
Lonzo Ball had a career-high 33 points, tying a career best with eight 3-pointers, and grabbed 11 rebounds. Willy Hernangomez added 12 points and 12 rebounds. His follow shot with 21 seconds left completed New Orleans’ comeback from down 10 in the fourth quarter to force overtime.
“We’ve had games where we’ve won good,” Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy said. “We’ve had games where we’ve given up leads like tonight, but this team has never quit on anything.”
Anthony Edwards scored 29 points for Minnesota, which had its four-game winning streak snapped. Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 points and 14 rebounds, and D’Angelo Russell finished with 17 points and 11 assists.
The Timberwolves were trying for their longest winning streak since January 2018 in Jimmy Butler’s first season with the team.
“It just bogged down,” Minnesota coach Chris Finch said of the closing stretch in the fourth. “I think guys were just looking to do things all by themselves a little bit too much and we just got to trust the ball movement.”
Chris Finch talks after Timberwolves' OT loss
The Pelicans closed with a 14-4 run over the final 4:22 of the fourth to force overtime and then Williamson went to work in the extra session. Williamson added nine rebounds and eight assists, while three Minnesota players fouled out while trying to guard Williamson.
Ball was two assists away from a triple-double, but he made his mark from 3-point territory. With Ball leading the way, New Orleans finished 14 of 36 from beyond the arc.
“I think whenever we needed a momentum change in our favor, Lonzo was there,” Williamson said.
The Wolves started the day with 20 wins, the second-fewest in the Western Conference, but have started to show growth with Edwards’ continued development, along with health from Russell and Towns.
Edwards scored 14 points in the second quarter to help erase a 13-point deficit.
“The game of basketball, we’ve got to treat it with respect,” Towns said. “I think that tonight got a little too, in a way, casual at the end and it cost us. We didn’t make the plays we needed to.”
HIGHLIGHTS: Pelicans 140, Timberwolves 136
NOT ALL ROSES
New Orleans had 21 turnovers leading to 27 points for Minnesota, a point that frustrated Van Gundy.
“Our turnovers are just killing us,” Van Gundy said. “That’s the thing that, if we want to close out the season really well and give ourselves a chance, that’s the thing we’re going to have to stop.”
Pelicans: New Orleans entered play 27th in the NBA with an average of 10.7 made 3s a game. Its average of 30.5 attempts per game ranked 25th while shooting 35%. … C Steven Adams missed his second straight game and third overall with a sprained toe on his right foot. … Van Gundy said Jason Hart (right thumb surgery) and Nickeil Alexander-Walker continue to work out, but he wasn’t sure about their status to return before the end of the season. Van Gundy called Alexander-Walker day to day and said Hart could still meet his timetable of returning for the season’s final week.
Timberwolves: Minnesota opened the day allowing opponents to shoot 39.2% from 3 this season, the highest mark in the league. … Edwards leads all rookies with 30 games of at least 20 points and he became the fifth rookie in team history with at least 30 such games. The team record is 33 by Christian Laettner in 1993.
Pelicans: Host Golden State on Sunday.
Timberwolves: Minnesota has a short break before resuming play on May 5 at home against Memphis.