The new-look Minnesota Timberwolves were a puzzle too difficult to solve Saturday, getting 24 points from Jordan McLaughlin and 23 from Malik Beasley to earn a resounding 142-115 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers and end a 13-game losing streak.
Three players were making their debut for a Timberwolves team that was busy in advance of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. One player who did not suit up was D’Angelo Russell, who was one of the biggest acquisitions on the final trading day.
Karl-Anthony Towns scored 22 points with 13 rebounds and nine assists. Beasley made a career-best seven 3-pointers in his Wolves debut. McLaughlin’s point total was a career high. James Johnson added 15 points, also in his Minnesota debut. McLaughlin had 11 assists, and Beasley had 10 rebounds. The Timberwolves set a franchise record with 26 3-pointers and shot 59.1 percent from long distance.
Kawhi Leonard scored 29 points and Paul George added 21 for the Clippers, who looked slow to react to Minnesota’s long-shooting strategy and did not have enough firepower to compete with it.
Milwaukee Bucks 111 - Orlando Magic 95
Brook Lopez highlighted a 23-point performance with five 3-pointers as visiting Milwaukee completed a four-game season sweep of Orlando.
Giannis Antetokounmpo collected 18 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists for the Bucks, who have won 13 of their last 14 games overall and seven of their last eight versus Orlando. Khris Middleton recorded 21 points and 13 rebounds, and Eric Bledsoe (18) and Wesley Matthews (12) also scored in double digits for Milwaukee.
Nikola Vucevic collected 21 points and 14 rebounds for his team-leading 26th double-double for the Magic, who have lost three in a row and eight of their last nine games.
Los Angeles Lakers 125 - Golden State Warriors 120
Anthony Davis capped a big night at the foul line with three late free throws, helping the visiting Los Angeles hold new-look Golden State.
Davis shot nine of 13 at the line en route to a team-high 27 points to complement 10 rebounds. Avery Bradley sank five 3-pointers to account for a majority of his 21 points, and LeBron James chipped in with 22 points, eight rebounds and a team-high 11 assists for the Lakers, who won for the ninth time in their last 11 road games.
Andrew Wiggins, one of four players making their debut with the Warriors, had 24 points. Marquese Chriss went for a season-high 26 for the Warriors, who lost at home for the eighth time in their last nine games.
Toronto Raptors 119 - Brooklyn Nets 118
Fred VanVleet scored 29 points — 10 in the fourth quarter — and Toronto held on to defeat visiting Brooklyn to extend its franchise-best winning streak to 14 games.
Pascal Siakam made the winning free throw with 22.9 seconds to play and finished with 20 points for the Raptors, who have won 18 of their past 19 games against the Nets, including 10 straight at home.
Toronto has won the first three meetings between the teams this season.
Denver Nuggets 117 - Phoenix Suns 108
Jamal Murray scored 36 points, Nikola Jokic added 23 and visiting Denver completed a season sweep of Phoenix.
Murray shot a blistering 14 of 17 from the floor, including 6 of 8 from 3-point range. He added five rebounds and five assists, while Jokic chipped in nine rebounds and six assists for the Nuggets.
Deandre Ayton had 28 points and 19 rebounds for the Suns. Kelly Oubre Jr. cooled off from a season-high 39 points on Friday to score 20.
Dallas Mavericks 116 - Charlotte Hornets 100
Seth Curry returned to his hometown and poured in 26 points as Dallas ripped host Charlotte, which lost its fifth straight.
Curry came off the bench and shot 10-for-14 from the field, making 6 of 8 3-point attempts. Willie Cauley-Stein added 15 points and 10 rebounds, Tim Hardaway Jr. had 14 points, and Dorian Finney-Smith and Jalen Brunson both had 13 points for the Mavericks. Boban Marjanovic provided 11 points.
Devonte’ Graham’s 26 points led the Hornets, while Miles Bridges had 20 points, Malik Monk pumped in 19 points and Terry Rozier had 15.
New Orleans Pelicans 124 - Indiana Pacers 117
Jrue Holiday scored 17 of his game-high 31 points in the fourth quarter as visiting New Orleans defeated Indiana.
Holiday, who missed most of the second quarter while getting five stitches to close a cut above his right eye, added 10 assists to get his first double-double since Dec. 13. JJ Redick scored 23 points, Derrick Favors had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Lonzo Ball scored 15.
Jeremy Lamb scored 26 points, T.J. Warren, returning from a three-game absence due to a concussion, added 22 points, Malcolm Brogdon scored 17, Domantas Sabonis had 16 and Myles Turner 10 to lead the Pacers, who lost their fifth consecutive game and fourth straight at home.
Sacramento Kings 122 - San Antonio Spurs 102
Buddy Hield hit nine of 10 from 3-point range while scoring 31 points off the bench as Sacramento notched a victory over visiting San Antonio.
Harrison Barnes recorded 25 points and seven rebounds as the Kings won for the sixth time in the past eight games. Kent Bazemore and Nemanja Bjelica added 15 points apiece. De’Aaron Fox scored 13 points, and Harry Giles III collected a career-best 12 rebounds.
DeMar DeRozan scored 14 points in 30 minutes before being ejected midway through the fourth quarter, as the Spurs dropped to 0-4 on their eight-game, “Rodeo Road Trip.”
New York Knicks 95 - Detroit Pistons 92
Julius Randle and Wayne Ellington had 17 points apiece, and visiting New York extended its season-best winning streak to four games.
Taj Gibson and Bobby Portis scored 11 points apiece, and Elfrid Payton had 10 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the Knicks. New York outrebounded Detroit 47-28, including a 16-3 advantage in offensive rebounds.
Reggie Jackson led the Pistons with 20 points and nine assists. Christian Wood had 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Tony Snell and John Henson contributed 12 points apiece. Henson was making his Detroit debut after being acquired from Cleveland on Thursday.
—Field Level Media