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Detroit Pistons make deep dive for top pick after 119-100 loss to Minnesota Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Josh Okogie, right, steals the ball from Pistons center Jahlil Okafor and heads up court during the first half Tuesday in Detroit. (AP photo)

DETROIT — Karl-Anthony Towns scored 28 points and Anthony Edwards added 22 as the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the undermanned Detroit Pistons 119-100 on Tuesday night in a game with significant lottery implications.

Minnesota’s second straight win was its 22nd in 69 games, while the Pistons dropped to 20-50. The Houston Rockets (16-53) are the only team with fewer wins than Detroit. There are three teams — the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Orlando Magic and the Cleveland Cavaliers — with 21 wins.

Ricky Rubio added 19 points for Minnesota while DeAngelo Russell had 15 points and 10 assists.

Saddiq Bey scored 21 points and Saben Lee added 20 for Detroit, which lost for the 10th time in 12 games.

Pistons coach Dwane Casey had nine players dressed, including six rookies and they struggled badly on offense. Detroit shot 34.3% in the first half and turned the ball over 15 times for 16 Minnesota points.

Pistons guard Dennis Smith Jr. brings the ball up court during the second half against the Indiana Pacers on Feb. 11 in Detroit. (AP file photo)

The Timberwolves led 62-40 at the start of the second half, but the Pistons scored the first 12 points of the third quarter to make it a 10-point game. Minnesota, though, went on an 8-0 run of their own to move the score to 70-52.

The margin was 86-65 at the period’s end, and Detroit never threatened in a low-intensity fourth quarter.

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TIP INS

Timberwolves: Minnesota’s starters scored 73 of its 86 points in the first three quarters, including 22 of 24 in the third quarter.

Pistons: Point guards Killian Hayes and Saben Lee only committed one of Detroit’s 16 turnovers in the first half. Shooting guard Josh Jackson had seven and Saddiq Bey added three.

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