LOS ANGELES – Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves were challenged by the Los Angeles Clippers in the fourth quarter.
This time, they clung.
The cities had 21 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots, and the Timberwolves outlasted the Clippers 113-107 on Wednesday night.
Minnesota, which recently squandered a pair of double-digit opportunities, moved up to 19 at the start of the third quarter. The Clippers approached four in the fourth, but the Timberwolves responded.
"Obviously you do not want to see an advantage as if we had disappeared that way," Towns said. "We knew we needed to stop the bleeding as soon as possible, we did a great job of keeping an eight point lead, and we domesticated and stalled it."
Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague each scored 1
"They kept coming, and by the way they can score, you're always worried," said Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau. "Finding a way to win was probably the most important thing."
Los Angeles lost its fourth consecutive game despite an impressive performance by DeAndre Jordan, who had 18 points and 21 rebounds. Lou Williams and Austin Rivers scored 23 points apiece for the Clippers (8-15).
"It's very difficult," Rivers said. "It's frustrating, nobody likes to lose, we're losing a lot of games."
Danilo Gallinari returned to Los Angeles and scored seven points in 2 of 13 shots. Gallinari had been out of action since November 5 due to a gluteal injury.
Timberwolves: F Nemanja Bjelica was left with a sprained left foot. He has lost eight consecutive games. … On Wednesday he scored Crawford's first game at the Staples Center since leaving Clippers. Crawford said: "You see these people every day for five years, it's strange, some of those relationships will last a lifetime."
Clippers: G Milos Teodosic (plantar fascia) remained out, but coach Doc Rivers said he is close to returning.
Gallinari only had two rebounds and did not give assists in 26 minutes.
"I wanted to be better," he said. "I did not expect to shoot the ball that bad, I expected to be better, but I was not, I'll be better next game."
Timberwolves: open a five-game home stay on Sunday night against Dallas. Minnesota has won its last three against the Mavs.
Clippers: host of Washington on Saturday.