ATLANTA: Rookie Trae Young matched a career high by scoring 36 points for the second straight game as the host Atlanta Hawks rallied for a 131-123 overtime victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.
John Collins had 34 points on 13-of-21 shooting from the floor for the Hawks, who avenged squandering a 22-point lead in a 123-120 overtime loss to Minnesota on Dec. 28. Young also scored 36 on Monday in Atlanta’s 119-111 loss at Houston.
Karl-Anthony Towns finished with 37 points on 12-for-19 shooting from the field and added 18 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who fell to 9-22 on the road this season after dropping the opener of the three-game trek. Andrew Wiggins had 21 points, Derrick Rose had 18 and former Georgia Tech star Josh Okogie chipped in with 15 while playing in front of family and friends in attendance.
Atlanta erased a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter and nearly won the game on a last-second shot from Young, but officials deemed the ball wasn’t released prior to the clock expiring.
The Hawks continued their momentum as Vince Carter drained an open 3-point shot and DeAndre’ Bembry added a jumper and layup to give Atlanta a 125-118 lead in overtime. Towns answered with a dunk and a 3-pointer, but Bembry countered with a basket before Atlanta made its free throws to seal the win.
Atlanta chipped away at a double-digit deficit before forging a tie at 102 after Collins sank a 3-pointer and a jumper on consecutive possessions and Bembry made a jumper and subsequent foul shot. Towns promptly drilled a 3-pointer on the next possession to reclaim the lead for Minnesota with 6:59 to play.
Towns again had the answer after Collins’ three-point play knotted the contest at 114 with 2:19 remaining. The two-time All-Star grabbed the ball after Bembry blocked Rose’s driving layup before his emphatic dunk once again gave the Timberwolves the advantage.
Minnesota registered its fourth 40-point quarter of the season and second in as many games when it hit that mark during the game’s first 12 minutes. Towns recorded 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting while Rose and Wiggins had eight to pace the attack.