Butler, Timberwolves put away pesky Mavericks 97-92

MINNEAPOLIS -- Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 points, Jimmy Butler scored 10 of his 22 in the fourth quarter and the Minnesota Timberwolves held on for a 97-92 win against the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night.

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Towns added 12 rebounds, including four on the offensive end, for his NBA-leading 21st double-double of the season. Minnesota committed 18 turnovers but hit four free throws at the end to pull away in a game in which no team led by more than six points.

Jamal Crawford had 16 points off the bench for the Timberwolves.

Harrison Barnes scored 19 and Maxi Kleber tied a career high with 16 points for Dallas, which has lost three in a row. J.J. Barea sparked the Mavericks with 14 of his 16 in the second half, including a pair of free throws with 24.9 seconds left to pull Dallas to 93-92.

But Crawford and Taj Gibson each hit a pair of free throws to secure the victory for Minnesota, its third in the past four games.

Barea hit a 3 to tie the game 77-all.

TIP-INS

Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki played his 65th regular-season game against Minnesota, the most for any player. Nowitzki scored 10 points in 26 minutes. It was the 1,421st game of his career, leaving him three behind Kevin Willis for sixth on the NBA's all-time list. … Six players scored in double figures for Dallas. … Antonius Cleveland was the first player off the bench for the Mavericks and played a career-high 18 minutes. He helped hold Andrew Wiggins to 1-of-9 shooting early.

Timberwolves: Reserve F Nemanja Bjelica missed his ninth straight game with a left mid-foot sprain. … Minnesota opened a five-game homestand. The Wolves are 13-5 at home this season, including 7-0 against Western Conference teams. … Wiggins came through with two big buckets late in the fourth quarter after his slow start. He finished with 10 points. He's been held to single digits just one time this season. … Towns left the game with 3:04 remaining after going down hard and favoring his right leg. Team trainers checked him and he re-entered.

NO TIMETABLE FOR SMITH

Dennis Smith Jr. missed his second straight game with a left hip strain, and Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle didn't have a timeframe on when his rookie point guard might be able to return. Smith is going back to Dallas to see a doctor.

"He's getting a little better each day, but I'm not going to give you any timetables right now," Carlisle said. "Him being 100 percent healthy is the No. 1 priority. That's what's got to be our focus."

Smith, the No. 9 pick in the draft, is averaging 14.4 points and 4.0 assists per game.

UP NEXT

Mavericks: Return home against San Antonio on Tuesday.

Timberwolves: Host the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.