Minnesota Timberwolves beat Detroit Pistons despite star Blake Griffin’s return
By NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer
DETROIT — The Minnesota Timberwolves shot an abysmal 6 of 45 from 3-point range in a loss to Denver over the weekend.
That evened out in a hurry against Detroit.
Andrew Wiggins scored 33 points, and Minnesota spoiled Blake Griffin’s return Monday night, beating the Pistons 120-114. The Timberwolves shot 8 of 10 from beyond the arc in the first quarter to take a 15-point lead, then held Detroit at bay after that.
“We talked this morning — how we made sure there weren’t any lids on the basket,” Minnesota coach Ryan Saunders said. “They deserve a win like this on a back-to-back.”
Griffin played for the first time this season, coming back from hamstring and knee issues. Derrick Rose also returned to the Detroit lineup from a strained hamstring, but both he and Griffin played limited minutes.
Griffin scored 19 points but Rose added just six.
“We’ve just got to ask the question: Do we want to win — are we going to come out and play hard, or going to get spanked like this every night?” Rose said. “We need everybody to be on the same page. We need everybody to move in a collective group. We’ve got to figure it out.”
Karl-Anthony Towns scored 25 points for Minnesota, which snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Pistons.
After a 100-98 overtime loss to Denver on Sunday, Minnesota was sharp at the start of this game. The Timberwolves led 41-26 after one, and the Pistons never cut too far into the deficit until the fourth. A 3-pointer by Detroit’s Tony Snell made it 109-104, but Towns drew a double team at the other end and passed to an open Wiggins, whose 3-pointer restored the lead to eight.