Karl-Anthony Towns broke a late tie with two free throws, Mike Conley and Anthony Edwards preserved the lead with key blocks and the Minnesota Timberwolves scored a critical victory in the NBA playoff race with a 107-102 win over the host Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night
Edwards finished with a team-high 23 points, Towns 22 and Conley with 18 for the Timberwolves (40-40), who snapped a three-game losing streak and improved their chances of landing a play-in spot in the West
Spencer Dinwiddie poured in a game-high 30 points and Mikal Bridges 24 for the Nets (43-36), who saw their lead over the Miami Heat for the coveted No. 6 spot in the East trimmed to one game with three remaining
The teams were never separated by more than four points until the final seconds of a tense fourth quarter, with Dorian Finney-Smith giving Brooklyn its last solo lead at 95-93 on a 3-pointer with 4:06 to go.
Edwards immediately countered with a 3-pointer at the other end to put Minnesota back on top by one.
The game was tied at 100-all before Towns was fouled with 1:00 to play and calmly connected on both free throws.
When Conley then blocked Finney-Smith's five-footer at the other end, the Nets fouled Edwards, whose two foul shots with 19.1 seconds left gave the visitors a four-point cushion
A Dinwiddie layup and Conley's 1-for-2 success at the line gave the Nets, down 105-102, one last chance to tie. But Dinwiddie couldn't hit a game-tying 3-pointer in two attempts - one of which was blocked by Edwards - before Edwards capped the game's scoring with two foul shots with 2.5 seconds left
Towns (game-high 14 rebounds to go with his 22 points) and Rudy Gobert (12 points, 12 rebounds) recorded double-doubles for Minnesota, which managed a split in the two-game season series with the Nets. Jaden McDaniels chipped in with 15 points, while Kyle Anderson had a game-high 10 assists to complement eight points
Finney-Smith (14 points) and Cam Johnson (14) gave the Nets four players in double figures, but that didn't prevent a three-game winning streak from coming to an end
Finney-Smith completed a double-double with a team-high 10 rebounds, while Dinwiddie had a team-high six assists.
--Field Level Media