Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports
Credit Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards and D'Angelo Russell fueled an explosive season debut for the Minnesota Timberwolves, who rolled to a 124-106 victory over the visiting Houston Rockets on Wednesday in Minneapolis.

Player of the Game
Karl-Anthony  Towns
EFF
36
Karl-Anthony Towns
Points 30
Accuracy 11-15
Rebounds 10
Assists 2

Towns paired 30 points (on 11-of-15 shooting) with 10 rebounds while Edwards chipped in 29 points while hitting six 3-pointers. Russell finished with 22 points and seven assists as Minnesota grabbed a first-quarter lead and never looked back, leading by as many as 35.

Christian Wood had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Rockets, who received a combined 20 points on 8-for-26 shooting from their youthful backcourt duo of Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green, the second overall pick of the 2021 draft. Eric Gordon added 15 points off the Houston bench.

The Rockets fashioned an 11-2 run to open the second half, a last-ditch effort capped by a Green floater. But the Timberwolves called timeout and quickly reclaimed control with an 18-3 burst that extended their lead to 92-59 with 4:51 remaining in the third quarter. Russell drilled four 3s during that stretch as the Timberwolves applied the knockout blow.

Minnesota seized control with a 10-0 run midway through the opening period, capitalizing on a slew of Houston turnovers. The Rockets committed three giveaways and missed all three of their shot attempts during that Timberwolves rally, and they closed the first period with eight turnovers.

After recording six fast-break points and a plus-11 rebounding margin in the first, the Timberwolves pulled away in the second with an 11-1 spurt that pushed the lead to 20 points. Towns had a pair of free throws, a hook shot and a block during that run while Edwards added two perimeter jumpers, and Minnesota extended that rally by closing the half on an 18-8 blitz.

Towns and Edwards combined for 45 points on 8-of-14 3-point shooting prior to the intermission as Minnesota carried a 72-45 lead into the locker room. While Gordon scored 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting, the rest of the Rockets missed 23 of 36 shots.

Houston finished with 24 turnovers.

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Minnesota Timberwolves
Houston Rockets
48%
42/87
Field goals
45%
40/88
53
Rebounds
54
26
Assists
21
18
Steals
13
77%
24/31
Free throws
68%
15/22
42%
16/38
3-pointers
33%
11/33

Best players

Karl-Anthony  Towns
30 PTS
11/15 FG
5/5 FT
Christian  Wood
16 PTS
6/15 FG
2/4 FT
Karl-Anthony  Towns
10 REB
5 DREB
5 OREB
Christian  Wood
9 REB
7 DREB
2 OREB
D'Angelo  Russell
7 As
3 TO
25 MIN
Jalen  Green
4 As
0 TO
32 MIN
Karl-Anthony  Towns
36 EFF
73% 2P%
75% 3P%
Alperen  Sengun
14 EFF
75% 2P%
- 3P%