MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Anthony Edwards scored 26 points and had a season-high eight assists and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the short-handed New Orleans Pelicans 122-101 on Wednesday night.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting and Rudy Gobert had 17 points and 20 rebounds to help Minnesota win its fourth straight game.

New Orleans was without its two leading scorers, with Zion Williamson out for personal reasons and CJ McCollum sidelined for the second straight game by a collapsed lung.

“Regardless of who we play, who's hurt, we know that our biggest opponent is ourselves,” Gobert said. “I'm really proud the way we came out. We came out regardless of who's on the court. It's still the NBA, and guys are talented.”

The Pelicans struggled to fill the void on offense. Brandon Ingram was one of the only Pelicans who produced much offensively in the first half, leading the way with 17 of his team-high 24 points in the first half.

Jordan Hawkins added 14 points for the Pelicans, who have lost three straight after opening 4-1. New Orleans shot 38.7% from the floor.

“Definitely a tough loss, a frustrating loss for our guys,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “The effort was there. We all know we had some individuals and guys out. But give them credit. They took care of business on their home floor.”

Minnesota was hot from 3-point range early. The Wolves hit five of their first six shots from deep to grab a 17-6 lead. Mike Conley connected on four 3-pointers in the first half to extend Minnesota’s advantage.

The Timberwolves were 14 of 27 from deep in the first half, making more 3-pointers than New Orleans attempted (12).

“We just let them be too comfortable,” Green said. "Guarding the ball is a priority, and we didn't do a great job of that in the first half."

Minnesota let a big lead slip away against Atlanta earlier this season. The Timberwolves were determined not to let that happen again.

The Wolves increased their halftime lead and kept their foot on the gas well into the fourth quarter when the game was already decided.

“I like the fact that we didn't let up,” Minnesota coach Chris Finch said. “We didn't have any mental lapses. There was no immaturity out there when it came to screwing around with the game when we had it right where we wanted it, which we'd been prone to do.”

Edwards, who drew a few “MVP!” “MVP!” chants from the crowd at Target Center, was a facilitator on offense for Minnesota. He also continued his strong defensive play, finishing with a pair of blocks that included a chase down play to thwart a Dyson Daniels layup.

Third-year forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl was in the starting lineup for his season debut with the Pelicans. He had 11 points and nine rebounds.


Pelicans: At Houston on Friday night.

Timberwolves: At San Antonio on Friday night.


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