NBA Game Recap - Minnesota at Charlotte
Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:00 PM EDT

MIN
121
CHA
99
F
TOR
106
BOS
112
F
NY
109
BKN
113
F
CHI
110
MEM
102
F
WAS
97
OKC
85
F
DAL
123
NO
116
F
PHO
107
DEN
108
F(OT)
POR
122
SAC
112
F
UTA
86
LAL
95
F

Oct 25, 2019, 7:00 PM EDT

Final

1

2

3

4

T

Minnesota (2-0)

30

28

45

18

121

Charlotte (1-1)

32

24

25

18

99

Towns scores 37 points, Timberwolves rout Hornets 121-99
Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:49 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Karl-Anthony Towns took advantage of an obvious mismatch Friday night when Charlotte center Cody Zeller wasn't there to defend him.

Towns had 37 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists, and the Minnesota Timberwolves remained unbeaten with a 121-99 win over the Hornets.

Without Zeller, who missed the game due to undisclosed personal reasons, the Hornets were forced to turn to Bismack Biyombo and Willy Hernangomez to defend the two-time All-Star. Towns took full advantage, finishing 13 of 18 from the field while using his big frame create space inside. He also drained four 3-pointers.

Minnesota coach Ryan Saunders said he wants his team working on a balanced inside-outside attack, but admitted "the fact that there was not a defender like Cody Zeller on the court tonight - and obviously our prayers are with him - we went inside a little more."

Andrew Wiggins added 16 points for Minnesota, which outscored Charlotte 45-25 in the third quarter to break open a two-point game.

Towns said he felt like he needed to take control when the Timberwolves fell behind 12-2 after missing 7 of 8 shots to open the game.

"That's where I have to do my job and get people buckets and get us going by drawing a lot of attention and making the right pass," Towns said.

Said Minnesota guard Josh Okogie: "This was a regular night for KAT. I definitely know that he can definitely do more, so I'm definitely excited to see what he can do this season."

Saunders said his team's defense fueled the offense in the decisive third quarter.

"We feel confident that even when we're missing shots, we were generating good looks and we just needed some to fall, but really our defense fueled our offense," Saunders said.

TIP-INS

Timberwolves: Outrebounded the Hornets 52-42. ... Shabazz Napier had nine assists.

Hornets: Rookie PJ Washington, who had 27 points on seven 3s in Charlotte's season opener, had 10 points and 10 rebounds.. ... Nic Batum said he will miss at least three weeks with a broken finger.

IMPRESSIVE START

Hornets backup guard Devonte Graham continued his torrid start to the season, finishing with a team-high 24 points on 6-of-9 shooting from 3-point range. Graham is shooting 75% (12 of 16) from deep in two games.

"His confidence, he's impressive," Saunders said. "I was telling a few our assistants on the bench that they way he is shooting the ball and the way he is rising up, with that rhythm - he's definitely got a future."

Graham played nearly 28 minutes, while starting point guard Terry Rozier played just 17.

TURNOVER CENTRAL

Minnesota turned 20 Charlotte turnovers into 21 points. The Hornets, who played eight players with less than three years of NBA experience, have now turned the ball over 39 times in two games.

"We're gonna get smacked in the mouth a few times, it's how you respond," said Hornets coach James Borrego.

HONORING THEIR COACH

Members of the Timberwolves presented their head coach with a game ball and the assistant coaches gave him a large sheet cake to help honor the memory of his father, Flip Saunders, who died on this day four years ago.

"The motto is `us,' and when someone feels something and is having a moment, we want to be helpful in that moment," Towns said. "We thought it was very important as a team. Me personally, I got our guys understanding how important this game is, four years from the day, we've got to win this for him. We've got to take care of our leader."

Cake was one of Flip Saunders' favorites.

"I know he's smiling," Towns said. "His son's doing really well, a tremendous job."

UP NEXT

Timberwolves: After two road wins will host the Heat in their home opener Sunday.

Hornets: Open four-game road trip against California teams when they visit the LeBron James and the Lakers on Sunday night.

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Leaders

Minnesota PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
J. Culver 0 4 1 1 1 0
K. Martin 0 -3 0 1 0 0
Charlotte PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
M. Monk 0 -31 3 1 0 0
M. Williams 0 -20 0 1 0 0

Team Comparison

MIN CHA
Points For 121 99
Field Goals 43/91-47% 37/84-44%
Three Pointers 12/38-32% 12/29-41%
Free Throws 23/31-74% 13/26-50%
Offensive Rebounds 13 9
Defensive Rebounds 39 33
Rebounds 64 52
Blocks 6 5
Steals 11 6
Turnovers 15 19
Points Scored Off Turnovers 21 16
Points in the Paint 56 44
Fast Break Points 8 14
Personal Fouls 21 29
Technical Fouls 0 2
Flagrant Fouls 0 0
Ejections 0 0

2019-2020 Regular Season - MIN Leads Series 1-0

Date Result Away Pts Ldr Home Pts Ldr
Fri Oct 25 MIN 121 @ CHA 99 G. Dieng 2 J. McDaniels 2

Game Information

Stadium: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
Attendance: 14,879
Game Time: 2:15