Wiggins, Butler lead Timberwolves’ romp of Cavaliers
MINNEAPOLIS — Andrew Wiggins had 25 points in three quarters, Jimmy Butler pitched in 21 points and tight defence on LeBron James, and the Minnesota Timberwolves cruised to a 127-99 victory over Cleveland on Monday night that stopped a 12-game home losing streak to the Cavaliers.
Karl-Anthony Towns (19 points, 12 rebounds) and Taj Gibson (16 points, 13 rebounds) were tenacious around the basket for the Timberwolves, who outrebounded the Cavs 56-37 and had a 60-42 advantage in points in the paint.
James had just 10 points on 4-for-8 shooting, taking his first loss at Minnesota since Feb. 17, 2005. Cleveland fell behind by as much as 41 points in the third quarter after a dunk by Wiggins set up by a driving pass by Tyus Jones, who had grabbed his own miss from 3-point range. That matched the largest deficit James has ever faced in the regular season, since a game at Orlando on April 3, 2009.
Butler had plenty to do with that, contributing nine assists and eight rebounds before resting during the fourth quarter, too. The Wolves led 69-42 at halftime, matching their largest first-half score from just two nights ago, after a rainbow 3-pointer from the top of the key by Butler brought the fans to their feet. That also tied the most points allowed by the Cavs in a half this season.
Butler made sure the Wolves didn’t slip after the break, knocking down a mid-range fadeaway, stealing the ball back and then swishing a pull-up 3-pointer on the other end to push the lead to 31 points early in the third quarter.
Jeff Green scored 22 points off the bench to lead the Cavs, who’ve …read more