By BRETT MARTEL
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Karl-Anthony Towns capped a 29-point performance with a running floater off the glass with 5 seconds left, and the Minnesota Timberwolves overcame a 14-point deficit in the final 7:32 to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 121-120 on Saturday night.
Anthony Edwards scored 23 points before fouling out with 10 seconds left while guarding Brandon Ingram along the perimeter. But Ingram missed one of his two free throws, allowing Towns to put Minnesota in front from close range.
The Pelicans still had a shot to win it as time ran out, but Ingram, who had a game-high-30 points, missed a mid-range jumper. That capped a difficult closing stretch for the New Orleans star, who made just one shot and turned the ball over twice in the fourth quarter.
New Orleans led 108-94 with 8:04 left after Matt Ryan’s third 3 of the game, but momentum turned quickly when Towns drew Herb Jones’ fifth foul. That started a 7-0 Minnesota run that included a breakaway layup and transition 3 by Pelican Nickeil Alexander-Walker.
Towns scored 12 in the fourth quarter, including a 3 that gave Minnesota its first lead of the second half at 119-117.
Rudy Gobert had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the T-Wolves. Jaden McDaniels added 12 points.
Jonas Valanciunas had 26 points and 11 rebounds for the Pelicans. Jones had 13 points and a career-high eight assists to go with two steals and two blocks, but fouled out in the final minute.
New Orleans was playing without start power forward Zion Williamson, who was being rested on what was the second of three games in four nights. The Pelicans also were without CJ McCollum for a seventh straight game as the high-scoring veteran guard continue to recover from a partially collapsed lung.
Still, they led for most of the game and by as many as 15 points.
New Orleans started 7 of 10 from from deep and led 43-28 when Daniels hit from deep on the left wing.
Minnesota closed the gap when Towns got in rhythm, scoring 10 points in just more than four minutes on a couple mid-range fades, a short hook and a pair of layups.
Gobert’s free throws cut New Orleans lead to 64-59 at halftime.
Timberwolves: Host New York on Monday.
Pelicans: Host Sacramento on Monday.
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