Butler leads Timberwolves to win over Thunder

Butler leads Timberwolves to win over Thunder”

NOTES: Minnesota C Karl-Anthony Towns has five double-doubles in six games this season and has scored at least 20 points five times.

ABOUT THE THUNDER (2-2): The biggest question for Oklahoma City coming into the season was how reigning MVP Russell Westbrook would mesh with George and Anthony, and so far, Westbrook is getting glowing reviews. Towns also had arguably his best defensive game of the young season, posting a season-high four blocks. But Butler is expected to return without a minutes limit on Friday. "Russ has gotten great encouragement from his teammates and he's at his best when he's playing aggressively", Thunder coach Billy Donovan told reporters after watching Westbrook collect 28 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds on Wednesday.

But from there it was all the T-wolves, as Butler established the breathing room with a jump shot and then a putback off his own miss and a late Carmelo Anthony three-point attempt for the tie was off the mark.

It was the second time in a week the Timberwolves edged the Thunder in a close game.

He had 23 points, but was not a big factor in the second half. "Overall, I felt like he surveyed and managed the game and the floor and moved guys around".

The Timberwolves used an 8-0 run in the third to go ahead 83-78.

Towns vowed after consecutive lopsided losses to IN and Detroit without Butler that he would play better.

"We got humbled the last few games", Gibson said. "When you're short-handed, you can't come out and just think you're going to go out there and win without putting the work into it".

He drove to get himself to the free-throw line for two shots that gave the Wolves a 114-109 lead with 2:41 left. IN shot 64.6 percent from the floor through the first three quarters and was 14 of 19 (73.7 percent) in the fourth quarter.

Darren Collison hit a 3-pointer just before time expired to push the Pacers' lead to 98-84 entering the fourth.

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