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Edwards scores 34 as Wolves beat Spurs 114-105 without Towns

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Anthony Edwards scored 34 points, returning from an injury scare right before halftime, and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the San Antonio Spurs 114-105 on Tuesday night without All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns.

Towns missed the game due to personal reasons. Earlier in the day, Towns memorialized a high school teammate on Instagram. Minnesota coach Chris Finch said before the game that he hoped Towns would only miss one game.

Rudy Gobert, back after missing a game with a left ankle sprain, added 13 points and 17 rebounds for the Timberwolves in his latest matchup with fellow French countryman Victor Wembanyama.

Wembanyama had 17 points and 13 rebounds as San Antonio lost its fifth in a row and 12 of its past 13 games. Wembanyama scored eight points in just over five minutes to open the game but didn’t score again until a 3 with 2:55 left in the third quarter.

Naz Reid added 22 points off the bench for Minnesota, which has won six of seven and started the day tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder atop the Western Conference at 40-17.

Edwards appeared to injure his left ankle before halftime, staying on the ground for several minutes before he was helped off with assistance from team athletic trainers. But Edwards came out after halftime as an anxious crowd cheered him taking shots before the second half.

Edwards hit a wide-open 3-pointer to provide an 83-61 lead near the end of the third quarter to bring the crowd out of its seats, and then stole the ball at half-court and finished with a windmill dunk to show the injury was no bother to the star guard.

With Wembanyama scoring, San Antonio used an 8-0 run to take an early lead, but Minnesota followed with its own 12-1 run — with six points from Edwards — to take control. The Wolves eventually led by as many as 24.

Devin Vassell added 21 points and Keldon Johnson had 20 for San Antonio, which did close within six with 33.6 seconds left. The Spurs committed 23 turnovers, leading to 30 points for the Timberwolves.

Minnesota forward Kyle Anderson left the game in the third with left hamstring tightness and didn't return.

UP NEXT

Spurs: Return home against Oklahoma City on Thursday.

Timberwolves: Host Memphis on Wednesday.

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More AP NBA coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

Brian Hall, The Associated Press