Beasley-led beastly numbers see off Clippers

MINNEAPOLIS (Minnesota) • Even without D'Angelo Russell, the new-look Minnesota Timberwolves ensured they got a different result, ending a 13-game losing streak with a 142-115 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in the National Basketball Association (NBA) on Saturday.

Timberwolves debutant Malik Beasley recorded his first career double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds, including a career-best seven three-pointers as the hosts drained a franchise-record 26 treys. Forwards James Johnson and Juancho Hernangomez contributed 15 points and 14 points respectively in their first game for Minnesota.

Guard Jacob Evans and forward Jarred Vanderbilt also enjoyed winning debuts for a Timberwolves team that was busy in advance of Thursday's NBA trade deadline.

One player who did not suit up was Russell - one of the biggest acquisitions on the final trading day was nursing a right quad contusion.

"We came in not knowing any of the plays," former Nuggets guard Beasley told Fox Sports North. "But we told each other just play and have fun and play hard."

Jordan McLaughlin added 24 points and 11 assists - both career highs - while Karl-Anthony Towns scored 22 points with 13 rebounds and nine assists. Towns had played 10 games since returning from a 15-game absence because of a knee injury, but the Wolves lost them all.

With his former teammate Andrew Wiggins making his Golden State debut in the Warriors' 125-120 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, Towns contributed to a victory for the first time since Nov 27 at San Antonio.

Kawhi Leonard scored 29 points and Paul George 21 for the Clippers.

The Wolves entered the game ranked third in the league in three-point field goals attempted (39.4) but had the worst three-point field goal percentage (32.5 per cent).

Against the title contenders, they hit 26-of-44 three-pointers, just one off the Houston Rockets' NBA record for threes made in a game.

Twenty-four of their 26 treys were assisted on - the most in league history. The Wolves finished with 39 assists overall - the most they have dished out this season. The 81 points over the first two quarters were a Timberwolves record for a half while their 142-point total was a season high.

"I think my dinner's going to taste a little better tonight," Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders said. "I might get a little more sleep. I'm just happy for that locker room. More than anything, I'm happy for this organisation for having a game like tonight."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 10, 2020, with the headline 'Beasley-led beastly numbers see off Clippers'. Print Edition | Subscribe