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Timberwolves bounce back with blowout victory over Nets

With Rudy Gobert out because of a sore ankle, the Timberwolves' defense didn't skip a beat in Saturday's matchup against the Nets while the team's offense continued its struggles from the night before in a loss to Milwaukee.

That meant Saturday turned into a brick-fest, but it was one that'll count in the win column for the Wolves after they eventually took down the Nets 101-86.

Karl-Anthony Towns provided enough offense for the Wolves throughout the night with 28 points on 8-for-17 as the team shot 43% overall. But the Wolves held a reeling Brooklyn team that was playing its second game under interim coach Kevin Ollie, to 34%, 17% from three-point range.

Anthony Edwards finished strong with 29 points on 11-for-23 as he still searched for a rhythm coming out of the All-Star break. He found a bit of it in the fourth. Edwards hit a pair of buckets in four minutes that helped the Wolves put the game away with a 93-81 lead late. Then his reverse layup through traffic got the crowd to its feet with 1:52 to play.

There was some controversy late after Mike Conley hit a three with 22.5 seconds left, and Brooklyn's Dennis Schroder took exception to Conley attempting the shot with the game out of reach. Jaden McDaniels shoved Schroder and it took time for tempers to settle. Upon review, officials handed out technicals to Schroder, McDaniels, Dorian Finney-Smith and Nickeil Alexander-Walker to cap the night.

The Wolves offense began the night by picking up where it left off in the opening minutes of the first quarter. Bad decisions and complaints with the officials led to a 6-for-17 start to the night. The Wolves trailed 22-12 with 2 minutes, 42 seconds left in the period before they woke up to end the quarter.

They scored the last 11 points of the quarter as Edwards got out in transition after starting the game 1-for-6. He had the Wolves' last two buckets of the quarter while Towns had nine.

But that surge was short-lived. The Wolves managed just 19 points in the second quarter, the only fortunate thing for them was they held Brooklyn to 23 and trailed by just three at the half.

The Wolves went the final 3:52 of the first half without a field goal, and both teams were under 40% shooting in the first half. Edwards didn't attempt a three, get to the free-throw line or have an assist in the first half, but the Wolves trailed just 45-42 headed into the locker room.

Also in the second quarter, Naz Reid (six points, nine rebounds) went out because of an apparent lower leg injury after he landed awkwardly defending a fast break. But Reid was able to check back in during the third.

The Wolves grabbed a small lead in the third as Edwards tried to get himself going. He got to the free-throw line six times in the third, even as the rest of the offense struggled. But the Wolves' defense held up enough to give them a 70-66 lead headed into the fourth quarter after Brooklyn shot just 31% for the quarter.

The Wolves didn't have a field goal through the first 3:32 of the fourth quarter but maintained a couple of possession leads early in the quarter thanks to a few buckets from Towns. McDaniels stepped up to hit two key threes as the Wolves' defense held for a number of stops. The Wolves grew their lead into double digits with just over four minutes to play.