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Young stars carry Timberwolves past Bucks

MINNEAPOLIS -- In a game that featured several of the NBA's bright young stars, Minnesota's stars shined just a little bit brighter than Milwaukee's did.

Dec 30, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) dribbles the ball as Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins (22) defends in the second quarter against at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 30, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) dribbles the ball as Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins (22) defends in the second quarter against at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

MINNEAPOLIS - In a game that featured several of the NBA's bright young stars, Minnesota's stars shined just a little bit brighter than Milwaukee's did.

Led by youngsters Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine, the Timberwolves took care of the visiting Bucks by a 116-99 final on Friday at Target Center.

Wiggins led all scorers with 31 points, his fourth 30-point performance of the season. LaVine added 24 points and Karl-Anthony Towns registered his 23rd double-double of the season, the fourth most among all NBA players. Towns finished Friday's game with 18 points and 16 rebounds, just one game removed from his first career triple-double.

Milwaukee's young stars, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker, scored 25 and 20 points, respectively, in the loss.

Timberwolves forward Shabazz Muhammad led the way for Minnesota in the first half. His 17 points off the bench before halftime were the most he's scored in a game so far this season, and he did so on 6-of-7 shooting. Muhammad connected on all three shots from downtown in the first half as he helped Minnesota take a seven-point lead into halftime.

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The Wolves extended their lead to as many as 17 in the third quarter after Towns hit a free throw late in the quarter. Shortly before that, Towns completed a series in which he blocked Milwaukee's Michael Beasley and finished at the other end by flushing an alley-oop pass from Andrew Wiggins.

Minnesota has struggled this season to hold onto big leads. Entering Friday's game, the Wolves had lost 10 games in which they led by 10 points or more. As Minnesota's lead grew to 19 early in the fourth, the Wolves managed to maintain their sizable advantage for the remainder of the night.

LaVine was hot from downtown, going 6-of-9 from beyond the arc. One of those came thanks to a review, which ruled that a shot midway through the fourth quarter did indeed beat the shot clock. It was originally ruled no basket, but the overturned call made it a 101-86 Timberwolves lead. Minnesota shot 13-of-25 as a team from 3-point range.

Related Topics: BASKETBALL
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