LOS ANGELES (AP) — Andrew Wiggins scored a season-high 40 points and the Minnesota Timberwolves hung on to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 126-118 on Monday night, snapping their four-game road skid.
Jeff Teague added 30 points, making 16 of 17 free throws, to help the Wolves win for the seventh time in nine games — and second in a row without Jimmy Butler, sidelined by a sore right knee.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers and assistant Mike Woodson were ejected with seven seconds left.
The Wolves led by five early in the fourth quarter only to have the game devolve into a back-and-forth affair in which neither team led by more than three until the final 2:44.
That’s when the Wolves pulled away to a 121-114 lead on a 3-pointer by Namanja Bjelica and five straight points by Teague.
Blake Griffin had a triple-double with 32 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high 12 assists for the Clippers. But he committed two big turnovers in the closing seconds.
With Minnesota leading 121-118, Karl-Anthony Towns’ bad pass out of bounds gave the Clippers the ball. But they lost it in a wild scramble on the floor before Griffin regained it only to get called for a double dribble.
Griffin turned it over again shortly before Rivers and Woodson were tossed out after the Clippers’ bench had been given a technical.
Los Angeles was limited to one field goal over the final 2:44, when the Clippers made all four free throws.
Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams led another strong performance by the Clippers’ bench, chipping in with 23 and 20 points, respectively.
Towns finished with 11 points — well below his 20.2 average — and 17 rebounds.
Milos Teodosic tied it at 111 on a 3-pointer off a pass by Griffin, who got fouled on the next possession and made one of two free throws.
Led by Griffin’s 12 points, the Clippers erased a 10-point deficit in the third, tying it late on a 3-pointer by Wesley Johnson before Wiggins’ basket sent the Wolves into the fourth leading 92-90.
Timberwolves: Improved to 3-0 against the Clippers this season. … G Jamal Crawford sat out with a sprained left big toe in his second game at Staples Center since leaving the Clippers as a free agent last summer. He played all 82 games last season. “It’s still sore, but it’s improving,” he said. “I’m hopeful every day.”
Clippers: C DeAndre Jordan missed his fifth straight game with a sprained left ankle, but could return soon. His next game will tie Randy Smith (715) for the most in franchise history. … G Austin Rivers (right ankle) sat out his 10th straight game and could be two weeks from returning. … F Danilo Gallinari (left glute) is close to coming back. … G Jawun Evans missed the game with a sore abdominal muscle.
Timberwolves: Visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday in the middle of their three-game western swing.
Clippers: Host Boston on Wednesday, reuniting Doc Rivers with the team he guided to the 2008 NBA title.
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