Timberwolves beat Pistons 106-91 to hit 50-win mark for 5th time in franchise’s 35 seasons

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Naz Reid had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Jaden McDaniels added 20 points to help the Minnesota Timberwolves overcome a sluggish start Wednesday night to beat the NBA-worst Detroit Pistons 106-91.

Kyle Anderson scored 14 points off the bench to help offset a quiet nine points by All-Star Anthony Edwards for the Wolves (50-22), who entered the night in third place in the Western Conference with one more loss than Denver and Oklahoma City. Both the Nuggets and Thunder played later Wednesday.

The Wolves hit the 50-win mark for just the fifth time in their 35 seasons, matching the franchise’s third-highest total with 10 games to go. Minnesota’s all-time best record was 58-24 in 2003-04.

Cade Cunningham scored 32 points for the Pistons (12-61), who lost their eighth straight. With nine games to go, they’ve got the fourth-most losses in the franchise’s 76-year history. The ignominious record (16-66) was set in 1979-80.

The Wolves improved to 40-4 when allowing less than 110 points and 7-3 without All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns, who’s recovering from a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Edwards was largely disengaged, whether it was the defense by rookie Tosan Evbuomwan or simply a lifeless opponent on the other side at the end of a homestand after high-energy games against Denver, Cleveland and Golden State. Still, after being swept last season by a 65-loss Pistons team, this recovery from a rough first half was an encouraging sign for a Minnesota team with much bigger goals.

The Pistons ruled out seven players with injuries, with guard Jaden Ivey the latest to land on the list with a sore left knee. Coach Monty Williams sent out his 34th different starting lineup in their 71st game, with Chimezie Metu taking the floor for just his fifth game with the club and Evbuowman getting the rare start. The Pistons have used 30 players this season, tied with Houston (2020-21) for the most in a season in NBA history.

This will be the fifth straight year without Detroit in the playoffs. The last time the Pistons won a series in the playoffs was 2008, when they beat Orlando in the second round to advance to their third straight conference finals under coach Flip Saunders.

Saunders, who died of cancer at age 60 in 2015, was also the coach the last time the Wolves won a playoff series in 2004. They beat Sacramento in the second round to reach the conference finals, their lone appearance in the 35-year history of the franchise.


Pistons: at Washington on Friday.

Timberwolves: at Denver on Friday.

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