By CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) — Kent Bazemore scored 22 points, including a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 2:09 remaining, and the Atlanta Hawks rallied after trailing by 11 in the third quarter to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 105-100 on Monday night.
Bazemore’s clutch 3 gave the Hawks a 99-96 lead they did not relinquish. He added a blocked shot following a steal by Minnesota’s Jeff Teague and another basket to stretch the lead back to three.
A layup by Taj Gibson cut Atlanta’s lead to 101-100. Following a missed short jumper by Dennis Schroder, Minnesota called timeout with 14.5 seconds remaining. Unable to make the inbounds pass, Teague was whistled for a five-second violation before trying to call a timeout.
Schroder had 18 points, including four free throws in the final 11.3 seconds.
The Hawks began the night with the NBA’s worst record but have won six straight home games against teams from the Western Conference.
Jimmy Butler had 24 points and Andrew Wiggins scored 18 for Minnesota.
Butler was sharp in his second game back after missing four with right knee soreness. He said he played “like a bum” while shooting 4 of 14 in Saturday’s win over the Nets in his return. He went 7 for 15 from the field and made each of his nine free throws against the Hawks.
Gibson scored 17 points and Karl-Anthony Towns had 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Timberwolves.
Minnesota appeared to be on the verge of putting the game away in the third period after leading only 58-55 at halftime. As the Hawks missed their first five shots of the second half, Gibson sank back-to-back baskets. Butler scored for a 71-60 lead, but Atlanta quickly trimmed the advantage back to single digits.
Atlanta committed nine turnovers in the third quarter but Bazemore hit a 3-pointer in his stretch of seven straight points to help cut the Timberwolves’ lead to 79-76 entering the final period.
Two goaltending calls against Towns while trying to block shots by Ersan Ilyasova and Malcolm Delaney each tied the game, the second at 84-all. Tyler Dorsey’s 3-pointer gave Atlanta its first lead of the second half. Butler had a quick answer with a 3 for Minnesota.
With the game tied at 90, Teague and Gibson each were called for a technical foul following Teague’s offensive foul. Schroder made only one of two free throws.
Timberwolves: After being limited by a sore ankle in Saturday’s win over the Nets, Teague started and showed no signs of trouble in his return to Atlanta, his first NBA home. … The Timberwolves began the night one game behind San Antonio for the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. … Minnesota fell to 1-7 on the road in January.
Hawks: Atlanta visits Minnesota on March 28 to wrap up the two-game season series. … Dewayne Dedmon, the 7-foot backup center, sank both of his 3-point attempts in the first half — one shy of his career high for a game. Dedmon had 10 points. Ilyasova also scored 10. … The Hawks had a 44-35 advantage in rebounds, including 11 by rookie John Collins.
NEWS TO ME
Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer was surprised when told before the game of his team’s streak at home against Western Conference opponents.
“I had no idea that was the case,” Budenholzer said. “It’d be great to beat an Eastern Conference team, too. We play a lot more of them.”
The Hawks are only 6-24 against the East. They are 7-11 against the West.
Timberwolves: At the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night.
Hawks: Host the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night.