MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Wiggins scored 25 of his 28 points in the first half, helping the Minnesota Timberwolves take charge from the opening tipoff and breeze by the LeBron James-less Los Angeles Lakers for a 108-86 victory on Sunday, the last game for coach Tom Thibodeau.
Thibodeau was fired about an hour after the Timberwolves raised their home record to 8-2 against Western Conference foes, according to a person with knowledge of the decision. Though the timing of the dismissal after a decisive win was unusual, Thibodeau’s third season with the team started with turmoil surrounding the discontent of All-Star Jimmy Butler.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks, and Jeff Teague scored all of his 15 points in the first half and finished with 11 assists. Minnesotra is 15-12 since trading Butler.
Lance Stephenson had 14 points for the Lakers. They fell to 1-5 without James since he strained his groin during the Christmas Day win at Golden State.
Russell Westbrook had 22 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists for his 12th triple-double of the season and the 116th of his career. Paul George scored 20 points, and Jerami Grant added 17 for the Thunder. The had won three in a row.
NETS 117, BULLS 100
CHICAGO (AP) — D’Angelo Russell scored 28 points, DeMarre Carroll had 20 and Brooklyn beat Chicago for its third straight victory.
Jarrett Allen added 19 points and six rebounds to help the Nets improve to 12-3 in their last 15 games, matching their best 15-game stretch since moving to Brooklyn in 2012.
Zach LaVine had 27 points for Chicago, and Bobby Portis scored 17 in 20 minutes off the bench after missing seven games with a sprained right ankle.
CLIPPERS 106, MAGIC 96
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tobias Harris scored 28 points and Los Angeles overcame a slow start to beat Orlando.
Lou Williams added 17 points, and Danilo Gallinari and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander each had 13. The Clippers have won 11 consecutive games against the Magic, a streak that goes back to the 2013-14 season.
Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and 24 rebounds for Orlando.
HAWKS 106, HEAT 82
ATLANTA (AP) — Trae Young scored 19 points, John Collins had 13 points and 13 rebounds, and Atlanta beat Miami to snap a three-game skid.
Young received a big compliment when the game ended, as 12-time All-Star Dwyane Wade, who is retiring after the season, took his jersey off at halfcourt and made a swap with the Atlanta rookie.
Derrick Jones Jr. led Miami with 14 points.
HORNETS 119, SUNS 113
PHOENIX (AP) — Kemba Walker scored 18 of his 29 points in the final 4 1/2 minutes — including a halfcourt heave when he was trying to run out the clock — and Charlotte handed Phoenix its sixth straight loss.
Tony Parker added 20 points, and Willy Hernangomez and Marvin Williams 16 for the Hornets.
T.J. Warren had 23 points, Josh Jackson 22 and Deandre Ayton 19 for Phoenix. Devin Booker left the game with back spasms in the second quarter and did not return.
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