Timberwolves Win Again as Butler Recovers From Surgery at Mayo
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Karl-Anthony Towns recorded yet another double-double in what has become a common occurrence for the first-time All-Star, and Minnesota got a much better defensive effort in the second half to pull away for a second straight lopsided win.
Turns out life without Jimmy Butler isn't as bad as for the Timberwolves as some expected it would be.
Butler is recovering from surgery on his right knee. The team announced Sunday that the operation was performed by Dr. Diane Dahm at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Dahm is the team's orthopedic surgeon .Butler will be sidelined indefinitely. The team says further updates on his progress will be issued as he begins rehabilitation.
Towns had 26 points and 17 rebounds, his 54th double-double in 64 games this season, and Minnesota beat the Sacramento Kings 118-100 on Monday night.
"Everyone has to step up," said Andrew Wiggins, who scored 22 points. "Everyone has to do their job and more if we want to get to where we want to get to. We just have to keep it going. We're in a good spot right now and we have to keep it going and finish strong."
Jeff Teague added 20 points and Taj Gibson had 15 points to help the Timberwolves sweep the three-game season series between the two teams.
All five starters and six players overall scored in double figures for the Minnesota.
"The unselfishness has been there all year," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We have to continue to do that. Defensively, we have got to keep working at it. We understand how important that is."
More importantly, Minnesota improved to 2-0 since losing Butler to a torn right meniscus last week heading into one of its toughest stretches of the season. The Timberwolves leading scorer, Butler is hoping to return for the playoffs.
"Everyone has to step up," Wiggins said. "Everyone has to do their job and more if we want to get to where we want to get to. We just have to keep it going. We're in a good spot right now and we have to keep it going and finish strong."
Thibodeau's team, which began the day in third place in the West and is off to the fourth-best start in franchise history, plays its next eight games against teams with winning records beginning with back-to-backs at Portland and Utah.