Timberwolves top Thunder in battle for West lead

Anthony Edwards scored 27 points to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 107-101 win over the host Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.

The victory put the Timberwolves a game up on the Thunder for the top record in the Western Conference and gave Minnesota a split in the teams’ four-game season series.

The Timberwolves had struggled in the fourth quarter recently, but Minnesota dominated late Monday, outscoring Oklahoma City 34-24 in the final period to take control.

Jaden McDaniels’ corner 3-pointer with 2:32 remaining put the Timberwolves up for good, 99-97. After Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns grabbed the rebound following Chet Holmgren’s missed 3-pointer at the other end, Edwards drove home an emphatic dunk through contact to solidify the lead.

Towns wound up with 21 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota, while Rudy Gobert had 12 points and 17 rebounds.

Minnesota outscored the Thunder 46-34 in the paint overall and went 6 of 10 from 3-point range in the fourth quarter.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 37 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

After Oklahoma City’s win over Minnesota on Jan. 20, Edwards said it was hard to beat the Thunder with the calls Gilgeous-Alexander got. On Monday, Gilgeous-Alexander shot 15 of 16 from the free-throw line.

Jalen Williams added 20 points for Oklahoma City and Josh Giddey scored 13. Holmgren had four points and three blocks.

Playing their second game in as many nights, the Thunder started showing apparent signs of fatigue in the second half.

Minnesota scored the first seven points of the third quarter, ultimately reeling off a 13-5 run to go up 62-52.

Edwards scored five of the Timberwolves’ first seven in the half.

Oklahoma City quickly responded with a 16-2 run to take a 68-64 lead.

Gilgeous-Alexander had nine points and two assists during the stretch to carry the Thunder.

The loss snapped a seven-game home winning streak for the Thunder.

The Timberwolves were without Mike Conley for the fourth time in five games. Conley has missed the past two games due to left hamstring soreness.