Butler, leads Timberwolves past Thunder

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 26 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had eight assists for the Minnesota Timberwolves in a 104-88 win against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.

Andrew Wiggins added 19 points, and Karl-Anthony Towns had 18 points and 12 rebounds as Minnesota pulled away in the second half to win its third game in a row at home and 10th in its last 13 overall.

Russell Westbrook had 38 points and 10 rebounds, but Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and the rest of the Thunder had a tough time shooting. Westbrook was 15 of 23 from the field, while his teammates were 17 of 56 (30.3 percent).

Anthony scored 15 points on 5-of-19 shooting, while George finished 5 of 14 for 13 points for Oklahoma City, which has lost five of seven.

The first three games between the teams were decided by a combined nine-point margin. Minnesota won the first two games by a total of five points. The Thunder came back with a four-point win at home on Dec. 1 as George scored 36 points.

George had just two points in the first half on Wednesday.

Oklahoma City missed seven of its first eight shots as the Wolves built a 10-point advantage. The Thunder recovered to tie it at 15 and it appeared to be another nail-biter between the teams. The score was tied at the end of the first quarter and first half.

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