MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 20 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter, Taj Gibson added 20 and the Minnesota Timberwolves outlasted the Los Angeles Clippers 112-106 on Sunday night.
The Wolves overcame a season-high 30 points from Austin Rivers, who matched his career best with seven 3-pointers. Rivers’ final 3-pointer gave L.A. a 92-91 lead with 6:54 to play before Butler scored nine in a row to send the Clippers to their third straight loss.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 15 points and 12 rebounds for Minnesota for his NBA-leading 19th double-double of the season.
Minnesota led for most of the game but couldn’t manage a serious run, mostly due to Rivers’ shooting. Rivers hit three 3-pointers in the final five minutes of the first half to keep the Clippers close. He had a career-high 20 points in the half.
The back and forth continued for most of the second half, and a couple of Minnesota defensive lapses that led to easy layups and a wide-open dunk by Montrezl Harrell to give Los Angeles an 84-83 lead with 9:12 to go.
Rivers’ seventh 3-pointer gave the Clippers a one-point lead, but Butler took over from there, hitting a free throw, 3-pointer and short jumper before converting a 3-point play to give the Wolves some breathing room.
Minnesota has beaten the Clippers three straight times.
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