MINNEAPOLIS –– Jeff Teague had 18 points and 12 assists, and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Charlotte Hornets 112-94 on Sunday night for their fifth straight victory.
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Andrew Wiggins led Minnesota with 20 points, while Karl-Anthony Towns, Jimmy Butler, Gorgui Dieng and Jamal Crawford all reached double figures in scoring.
The Timberwolves moved to 7-3 on the young season, just a half-game behind Houston for the top spot in the Western Conference. The last time Minnesota won five games in a row was Jan. 2-10, 2009.
Cody Zeller led Charlotte with 16 points, while Marvin Williams, Dwight Howard and Jeremy Lamb each scored 13 points for the Hornets. All-Star Kemba Walker was limited to nine points on 4-for-15 shooting.
Minnesota pulled out to a double-digit lead on the strength of a 12-2 run midway through the second quarter. The flurry culminated in three 3-pointers on three straight shots. Teague hit the first two; on the next possession, he called for the ball at the top of the key, and when Howard closed hard on Teague, the Timberwolves’ assist leader slipped a pass to Butler, who drained a 3 from the wing.
Teague later added another 3-pointer and a driving layup for 11 points in the quarter as Minnesota led 68-51 at the half.
Wiggins scored nine straight points in the third quarter on a trio of mid-range jump shots and a three-point play, and Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau was able to rely heavily on his bench the rest of the way as Minnesota played the second half of a back-to-back stretch.
Hornets: F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist missed his second straight game due to personal reasons. . The Hornets have lost two straight after posting a season-high, three-game winning streak. . Charlotte dropped to 1-4 on the road. Last season the Hornets were 22-19 at home but won just 14 road games.
Timberwolves: Teague’s double-double was his fourth in the last five games. … The last time the Wolves were four games over .5000 was on Jan. 15, 2007, when they were 20-16.
Hornets: At New York on Tuesday.
Timberwolves: At Golden State on Wednesday.