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Rose buries buzzer-beater to lift Timberwolves past Suns

By Reuters - Jan 21,2019 - Last updated at Jan 21,2019

Minnesota Timberwolves centre Karl-Anthony Towns shoots against Phoenix Suns forward Dragan Bender during their NBA game in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Sunday (Reuters photo by Brad Rempel)

Derrick Rose buried a 20-foot, tie-breaking jumper with nine-tenths of a second remaining Sunday night, delivering the Minnesota Timberwolves a 116-114 victory over the Phoenix Suns in the first half of a home-and-home sequence in Minneapolis.

The clubs will meet again Tuesday in Phoenix.

The Timberwolves trailed 110-106 before Rose capped a 31-point performance by scoring eight of Minnesota’s final 10 points over the closing 3:25.

The game-winner came after Taj Gibson stole the ball from Devin Booker with 25.0 seconds to go when the Suns had a chance to break a 114-all tie.

The game was tightly contested all the way, with the Timberwolves clinging to a 106-102 lead after a Jerryd Bayless 3-pointer with 7:35 to go before the Suns ran out eight straight points to grab a four-point advantage of their own.

Booker, Jamal Crawford and Dragan Bender had hoops in the burst.

Rose ended the Minnesota drought with a layup and converted a three-point play on the next possession to narrow the gap, then got the Timberwolves even at 114-all with 30.5 seconds left by making one of two free throws, setting up the exciting finish.

Rose hit 12 of his 24 shots en route to his game-high point total for the Timberwolves, who snapped a two-game losing streak.

Karl Anthony-Towns shot 13 for 13 from the free throw line in a 30-point, 12-rebound double-double for Minnesota, while Gibson finished with 17 points and Andrew Wiggins 10.

T.J. Warren had a team-high 21 points for the Suns, who completed a winless four-game trip with two losses in two days. Phoenix lost at Charlotte on Saturday.

Bender notched a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double for Phoenix and Booker had 18 points to go with six rebounds and six assists, while Kelly Oubre Jr. (18 points), Josh Jackson (15) and Crawford (11) also scored in double figures.

The Suns outshot the Timberwolves 46.5 per cent to 42.9 and outscored the hosts 36-18 on 3-pointers.


Clippers 103, Spurs 95


Tobias Harris poured in 27 points, and Patrick Beverley scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and the visiting Los Angeles Clippers held on for a 103-95 win over the host San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night.

The win snapped a season-worst five-game losing streak for the Clippers, who controlled the game even without injured stars sixth man Lou Williams and forward Danilo Gallinari.

The Spurs clawed to within 84-79 on Rudy Gay’s layup with 9:40 to play but Los Angeles would not allow San Antonio to get any closer. The Clippers rebuild their lead to 94-83 on Harris’ 3-pointer with 5:19 remaining and never looked back.

San Antonio, which brought a two-game winning streak into the game, lost for the second straight time at home.

Montrezl Harrell added 18 points for the Clippers, with Avery Bradley scoring 15 (all in the first half), and Johnathan Motley hitting for 10 points off the bench for Los Angeles.

LaMarcus Aldridge led all scorers with 30 points and pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds for the Spurs. Gay racked up 19 points and Marco Belinelli contributed 12 for San Antonio in the loss.

The Spurs, who lead the league in free-throw per centage at 82 per cent, made just 9 of 17 in the game (52.9 per cent).

Los Angeles led throughout the game, building a 38-26 advantage by the end of the first quarter that it expanded to 19 points on two separate occasions early in the second.

The Clippers settled for a 60-53 lead at halftime with Bradley pacing all scorers with 15 points and Harris adding 14 over the first 24 minutes of play.

San Antonio got 13 points from Gay in the first half and 10 points and five rebounds from Aldridge.

The two teams played an even third quarter, with a layup at the horn by the Spurs’ Jakob Poeltl allowing San Antonio to stay within seven points, at 80-73, heading into the final 12 minutes.

San Antonio returns to the floor on Wednesday at Philadelphia for the first of a two-game road trip. The Clippers continue their four-game road trip with a game Tuesday in Dallas.


Pacers 120, Hornets 95


Victor Oladipo scored 21 points, and the host Indiana Pacers rolled to a 120-95 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday night.

The Pacers jumped out to a 16-point lead in the first quarter, led by 15 at halftime, and stayed in control the rest of the game. Charlotte got as close as five briefly in the third quarter, and then the Pacers pulled back out to lead by as many as 27 down the stretch.

The Pacers won their second straight and avenged a 127-109 loss at Charlotte in November. The Pacers have now won 18 of their last 23 games and continue to have the third-best record (31-15) in the Eastern Conference.

The Hornets had a three-game winning streak snapped. They were looking for their first four-game winning streak of the season.

Oladipo, the Pacers’ leading scorer, had his first 20-point performance in the past two weeks. The Pacers also got 19 points from Darren Collison, 16 apiece from Bojan Bogdanovic and Domantas Sabonis, and 14 from Tyreke Evans.

Kemba Walker led the Hornets with 23 points and seven assists. Malik Monk scored 11, Bismack Biyombo had 10 points and 12 rebounds, and Jeremy Lamb also scored 10. The Hornets struggled offensively all night, finishing at 40.2 per cent from the field.

Indiana went on a 10-0 run early in the first quarter for a 20-11 lead, then pushed the lead all the way to 32-16 before settling for a 34-26 edge after one quarter. The lead grew to 56-39 late in the second quarter before the Pacers settled for a 56-41 halftime lead. Indiana then led 83-71 after three quarters.

Both teams were playing the second game of a back-to-back. The Pacers beat Dallas 111-99 on Saturday, while the Hornets cruised to a 135-115 home win over Phoenix.

The Pacers were playing the fourth game of a five-game homestand. They will host Toronto on Wednesday.

The Hornets were opening a three-game road trip. They will play at Memphis on Wednesday.

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