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Towns' big night carries Wolves past Grizzlies

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Tyus Jones (1) handles the ball against Memphis Grizzlies forward Justin Holiday (7) during the first half at FedExForum on Saturday, March 23. Justin Ford / USA TODAY Sports1 / 2
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) handles the ball against Memphis Grizzlies forward Ivan Rabb (10) during the first half at FedExForum. Justin Ford / USA TODAY Sports2 / 2

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Karl-Anthony Towns totaled 33 points and 23 rebounds as the Minnesota Timberwolves halted a nine-game road losing streak by dominating the third quarter in a 112-99 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night.

The Timberwolves recorded their first road win since beating New York on Feb. 22. They also halted a five-game losing streak, a night after being eliminated from playoff contention.

Towns recorded his seventh straight double-double and 49th overall. He also recorded his 19th 30-point game and fifth career game with at least 30 points and 20 boards.

The All-Star center reached the double-double early in the third when Minnesota took control by outscoring Memphis 35-18 and shooting 68.4 percent (13-of-19).

Andrew Wiggins added 22 points for the Timberwolves, who shot 48.2 percent. Rookie Josh Okogie contributed 17 points, while Tyus Jones collected 12 and nine assists as the Wolves allowed fewer than 100 points for the 12th time this season.

Mike Conley led Memphis with 23 points after sitting out Friday's overtime loss in Orlando due to general soreness. He finished the game seven points shy of passing Marc Gasol as the Grizzlies' all-time leading scorer, and his next chance to break the record is Monday against Oklahoma City.

Jonas Valanciunas added 20 points and 14 rebounds, but Memphis shot just 37.5 percent and saw a four-game home winning streak stopped.

Minnesota ended the first quarter with a 10-2 run, and the first quarter ended in a 25-25 tie when Wiggins hit a jumper with one second left. Memphis held a 46-39 lead with about four minutes left in the second, but settled for a 50-49 lead at halftime.

Minnesota opened the third quarter with an 19-4 run and took a 68-54 lead on two free throws by Towns with 6:42 left. Towns picked up his fourth foul with 5:12 left but Minnesota took a pair of 19-point leads and carried an 84-68 lead into the fourth.

The Grizzlies were within 102-90 on a three-point play by Valanciunas with 3:29 left, but coming out of a timeout, Towns hit his third 3-pointer of the night to seal it.