Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) posts up against Utah Jazz forward Rudy Gay, left, in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Karl-Anthony Towns had 31 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, Jaden McDaniels scored a season-high 22 points off the bench, and the Timberwolves routed the shorthanded Utah Jazz 126-106 on Sunday night.
Towns caught fire in the third quarter, scoring 16 straight points as the Wolves pushed their four-point halftime lead to 17 entering the fourth quarter. McDaniels’ 22 points came on a perfect 9-of-9 shooting, including 3 of 3 from deep.
Utah didn’t have much of an answer for Towns. The Wolves’ big man picked up his 10th assist late in the fourth quarter on a corner 3-pointer by Jordan McLaughlin. It was his second career triple-double.
“The assists obviously come from my teammates, so that’s all credit to them,” Towns said. “They’re the reason this happened tonight.”
Towns’ triple-double was the 37th in Wolves history and the first since Shabazz Napier in 2020. Towns’ other triple-double came against Denver in 2016.
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 23 and Mike Conley 22 for Utah, which lost its fifth straight.
Playing without Donovan Mitchell (concussion) and Rudy Gobert (left calf strain), the Jazz suffered another setback when veteran forward Joe Ingles exited the game in the second quarter with a left knee injury. Ingles’ left leg buckled as he drove to the basket with 5:52 remaining. The Target Center crowd went silent as Jazz teammates and staff surrounded Ingles.
Ingles eventually was helped off the court but wasn’t putting any weight on his left leg. The seven-year veteran was averaging 7.4 points per game for Utah this season. The team announced he will have an MRI on his knee on Monday in Salt Lake City.
“I feel bad for him,” said Utah assistant head coach Alex Jensen, who was filling in for head coach Quin Snyder due to Snyder being in health and safety protocols. “Hopefully it’s better than we all think.”
Mitchell, Utah’s leading scorer, missed his seventh straight game and Gobert was out for his fourth in row.
“No excuses. We had some good stretches,” Jensen said. “We put a lot of guys in situations they weren’t used to.”
Led by Towns, Minnesota outscored Utah 40-27 in the third quarter. The Timberwolves shot 64% (16 of 25) from the floor in the third. McDaniels added eight of his 22 points in the third.
Minnesota was also without a few key players: Point guard D’Angelo Russell missed his second game with a left shin contusion, and Patrick Beverley remained sidelined with a right ankle sprain.
McDaniels came off the bench Sunday after starting the Wolves’ past four games. He was a team-high plus-24 against Utah, giving Minnesota a spark off the bench after the Wolves returned home from a grueling road trip that included losses to Golden State and Phoenix.
“I just said to him, ‘You’re not a shooter. You’re a basketball player. So go make basketball plays and the shots will go in,” Wolves coach Chris Finch said. “I thought that resonated with him, because he is a basketball player. He can do a little bit of everything.”
Jazz: Danuel House Jr. was out Sunday due to health and safety protocols. House signed his third 10-day contract with Utah on Friday and is averaging 8.3 points per game for the Jazz.
Timberwolves: Prior to Sunday’s game, Minnesota recalled Leandro Bolmaro from the G League Iowa Wolves. Bolmaro has appeared in 24 games with Minnesota this year.
Jazz: Utah begins a six-game homestand Wednesday when it hosts Denver.
Timberwolves: Minnesota hosts Denver on Tuesday.