The Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS–Foul trouble forced Karl-Anthony Towns to watch much of the first three quarters from the bench.
Luckily for the Minnesota Timberwolves, the star centre was available–and in the right spot–in overtime.
Towns hit a buzzer-beating desperation shot in overtime to lift Minnesota over the Memphis Grizzlies 99-97 last night.
Memphis led twice during overtime but Towns helped the Timberwolves close out their fourth-straight win.
On the final possession, Andrew Wiggins ran the clock down to six seconds before shooting a pull-up “three.”
The rebound fell to the right side, where Towns grabbed it, dribbled once, and floated up a shot as he faded toward the corner.
The ball went in and Towns tossed up his hands before getting mobbed by teammates.
“The basketball gods weren’t treating me well but I stuck with it,” Towns noted.
“I was saying, ‘All right, they owe me one. The gods owe me one and the next chance I get, I’m going to make it.'”
Towns scored all 16 of his points after halftime, and also had 10 rebounds in his 26:27 of action.
Jerryd Bayless had 19 points and a career-high 12 assists for the ‘Wolves on a frigid night with an announced crowd of 13,615.
Many fewer actually showed up.
Mike Conley had 26 points and eight assists for Memphis, which lost for the 12th time in 13 road games.
Marc Gasol had 19 points while Ivan Rabb had 10 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
“It’s a microcosm of our season, kind of like the ball bounces in a funny way and KAT’s in the right spot,” Conley said.
“Not only is he in the right spot but he makes the shot. You know, tip-toes the sideline, which is a heck of a play on his part.
“But we did everything we could to extend the game, to win the game,” he noted.
Memphis played its fourth-straight game decided by one possession. It has lost three of those games.
“It’s tough but we’re putting ourselves in position, giving ourselves a chance,” Grizzlies’ coach J.B. Bickerstaff reasoned.
“Tonight, they made one more play than we did,” he added. “We just have to make that play when it’s called upon.”
Minnesota signed Isaiah Canaan to a 10-day contract yesterday with the ‘Wolves missing three point guards because of injury.
Canaan had three points and one assist in 13 minutes.
A six-year veteran, Canaan played 19 games this season for Phoenix, averaging 7.5 points, 3.3 assists, and 26.5 minutes.
With the injuries at guard, meanwhile, Bayless is receiving his extensive playing time after a run of injuries and misfortune.
He had his first double-double since Nov. 7, 2015 and just the fifth of his career.
He was three rebounds shy of his first triple-double.
“It’s been 11 years for me to get this opportunity and I’m trying to take advantage of it as much as I can,” Bayless said.
“I know how rare and how hard it is for these to come about.”
Elsewhere in the NBA, Boston dumped Charlotte 126-94, Chicago beat Miami 105-89, Dallas downed New York 114-90, Denver shaded New Orleans 105-99, Washington upended Indiana 107-89, Sacramento bounced Atlanta 135-113, and Portland bombed Utah 132-105.