Beasley sets T-Wolves 3-point mark in 132-102 win over OKC
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Malik Beasley made 11 3-pointers to set a Timberwolves franchise-record and finished with 33 points to help lift Minnesota to its sixth win in a row with a 132-102 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.
After Beasley hit his final 3, his Timberwolves teammates on the bench celebrated the mark by dumping water and Gatorade on Beasley. The home crowd at Target Center chanted “Beasley!” as he exited the game following the record-setting basket.
“It was a great moment,” said Beasley, whose 17 shots from the field all came from 3-point range. “We have a great team, and teammates who care about each other. It was huge to be a part of that.”
Taurean Prince scored 17 points off the bench for Minnesota, while Karl-Anthony Towns recorded another double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds in 29 minutes.
Aaron Wiggins led Oklahoma City with 25 points and nine rebounds. Isaiah Roby added 15 points.
Beasley hit his 10th 3-pointer with a step-back bucket midway through the fourth quarter to tie Anthony Edwards’ team record. Beasley needed three shots to set the new mark with his 11th coming with the shot clock winding down as he buried a shot over the outstretched arm of Thunder guard Vít Krejčí.
“It was crazy. In my head I was like, ‘This is lit,’” Beasley said. “And it was off the dribble, too, so that made it even better.”
He didn’t play the final 4:57, ending three made 3-pointers shy of Klay Thompson’s NBA record.
“If I had more time, I definitely would have broken that record,” Beasley said.
Beasley also set Minnesota’s single-season 3-point record Saturday against Portland. He surpassed Kevin Love’s previous mark of 190 made 3s in a season.
The Timberwolves’ six-game winning streak is their longest since the 2003-04 season. Minnesota has beaten the Thunder and Portland Trail Blazers twice each during the streak.
Thunder leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander shot just 2 of 15 from the floor for eight total points.
“Everybody has off nights. He’s had a hell of a run,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said. “There may be a little bit of fatigue there, too. We’ve played a long stretch of games against good opponents and he’s obviously shouldered a large load.”
Oklahoma City has dropped four straight, losing by an average of 26.8 points per game during that stretch.
Edwards and D’Angelo Russell both returned to the lineup Wednesday for Minnesota. Edwards missed four games with a left knee injury, while Russell missed Monday’s game with bilateral hamstring soreness.
For the second time in as many games, the Timberwolves held a 27-point halftime lead. Minnesota outscored Oklahoma City 42-26 in the second quarter to head into the half with yet another big advantage.
Beasley’s hot shooting helped Minnesota build a big lead early. He was 6 of 7 from 3-point range in the first quarter — also a team record — and led all Wolves scorers with 21 points in the first half.
“With shooters, when they see the ball go in that much, that easily, that early, the rim just gets bigger and bigger for them,” Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said. “I was really proud of Malik.”
Wednesday was the second time in three games the Thunder allowed an opposing player to make 11 3-pointers. Utah’s Bojan Bogdanović was 11 of 18 from deep Sunday against Oklahoma City.
Thunder: Rookie guard Tre Mann did not play after injuring his ankle in Tuesday’s loss to Milwaukee. Mann is averaging 9.2 points per game.
Timberwolves: Jaylen Nowell returned Wednesday after missing the second half of Monday’s game with a nasal contusion. Nowell finished with six points in 27 minutes. ... Patrick Beverley was out Wednesday with right ankle soreness.
Thunder: Return to action Sunday at home against Memphis.
Timberwolves: Begin a 3-game road trip Friday at Orlando.
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