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Horford, Hawks steamroll Timberwolves 117-105

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Al Horford scored a season-high 28 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and DeMarre Carroll added a career-best 26 points to lift the Atlanta Hawks to a 117-105 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.

Paul Millsap had 19 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Hawks (43-10), who bounced back from a loss to Memphis the previous night. The NBA-leading Hawks still have not lost back-to-back games since Nov. 18. They shot 51 percent and outscored Minnesota 58-44 in the paint.

Kevin Martin scored 21 points and Shabazz Muhammad had 18 points and eight rebounds in his first game since Jan. 9 because of a strained oblique for Minnesota. The Timberwolves lost for the first time in four games.

Kyle Korver scored 12 points on 4-for-9 shooting from 3-point range for Atlanta. The Hawks let rejuvenated Minnesota hang around in the first half thanks to the Wolves’ dominance on the boards, but turned up the defensive pressure in the third quarter to gradually pull away.

The Hawks went 10 for 21 on 3s, while Minnesota was 5 for 16. The Wolves pulled within 12 early in the third quarter, but Horford scored nine straight for Atlanta to end any threat.

Andrew Wiggins had 15 points and six rebounds and Gorgui Dieng had 12 boards and five blocks for the Wolves, who outrebounded Atlanta 50-36 and grabbed 23 offensive boards. The Wolves were starting to build some momentum with wins over the Heat, Grizzlies and Pistons after getting Nikola Pekovic, Martin and Ricky Rubio back from long absences.

Then the Hawks brought them back down to earth in a big way.

If the Hawks have shown any weakness while steamrolling through the league during the first of the season, it’s been on the boards. Almost 15 percent of their points allowed this season have been scored on second chances, the worst percentage in the league. They were hammered on the glass by Memphis on Sunday night, 55-37, and outscored in second-chance points 22-6.

It was more of the same in the first half Monday night. Wiggins and the Timberwolves crashed the glass every time the ball left a teammate’s hand, racking up 12 offensive rebounds in the first 17 minutes. Dieng’s putback gave Minnesota a 45-38 lead in the second quarter, but the Hawks responded with a 20-5 run to start to pull away.

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TIP-INS

Hawks: Jeff Teague was questionable going into the game after tweaking an ankle against Memphis, but started and finished with 12 points and seven assists in 32 minutes.

Timberwolves: Rubio had eight points on 3-for-11 shooting and five assists in 26 minutes. He sat out Sunday’s win at Detroit because doctors had not cleared him to play in back-to-back games yet after missing 42 with an injured left ankle. … Glenn Robinson III was the first healthy Wolves scratch since Nov. 7.

UP NEXT

Hawks: Visit Boston on Wednesday.

Timberwolves: Host Golden State on Wednesday.

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