The Sports Xchange
MINNEAPOLIS—Jimmy Butler scored 12 of his game-high 39 points in overtime to help the Minnesota Timberwolves top Denver 128-125 on Wednesday night, Dec. 27, at sold-out Target Center. Butler picked up the slack in overtime after Karl-Anthony Towns and Taj Gibson fouled out, and point guard Jeff Teague exited with an injury. The Timberwolves held off a Nuggets team that surged in the second half after Minnesota led by as many as 19 points. The Timberwolves (22-13) have now won five in a row. Wednesday's loss halted the Nuggets' winning streak at three games.
ST. PAUL—Mikael Granlund's second-period goal stood up as the game-winner and Alex Stalock made 24 saves as the Minnesota Wild held on for a 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night, Dec. 27, at Xcel Energy Center. Jared Spurgeon and Eric Staal added goals for Minnesota (19-15-3) and Charlie Coyle had a pair of assists as the Wild won for just the second time in six games.
PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- Former Pittsburgh Steelers franchise sack leader James Harrison went unclaimed on waivers and is now a free agent. The Steelers released the 39-year-old Harrison on Saturday to provide room for the return of right tackle Marcus Gilbert from suspension.
PHOENIX—Jimmy Butler scored 32 points and the Minnesota Timberwolves blew most of a 22-point third-quarter lead before regrouping to beat the Phoenix Suns 115-106 on Saturday. Anthony Wiggins had 17 points and Karl-Anthony Towns had 16 points and 14 rebounds for Minnesota, who has won four of the past five games and six of the past eight to improve to 20-13 for the season.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams has been ruled out of Saturday night's game against the visiting Minnesota Vikings, coach Mike McCarthy announced Thursday. Adams sustained a concussion on Sunday following a blindside hit administered by Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, who initially received a two-game suspension from the league the following day. That ban was then reduced to one game. Davis apologized to Adams over social media for the hit following an interception during the third quarter of Sunday's game at Bank of America Stadium.
OTTAWA -- The Minnesota Wild scored five unanswered goals in a come-from-behind 6-4 win over the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Tuesday night. Eric Staal led the Wild with two goals while Nate Prosser, Jonas Brodin, Chris Stewart and Miko Koivu had the others. Erik Karlsson scored twice for the Senators, who also got goals from Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Derick Brassard. Alex Stalock made 28 saves for the Wild while Craig Anderson stopped 33 shots in the Senators net.
Portland Trail Blazers star guard Damian Lillard was the target of two anti-gay slurs allegedly shouted by a pair of fans following a game against the Timberwolves in Minnesota on Monday night, ESPN reported Tuesday. The fans reportedly shouted the slurs at Lillard as he was walking to the team bus after the Trail Blazers' 108-107 loss at Target Center. A mobile phone video showed Lillard confronting the hecklers and asking, "Which one of you all said that?" The video purportedly shows an accused individual apologizing.
Veteran football coach Jerry Kill announced his retirement on Tuesday, citing health reasons for his resignation as Rutgers' offensive coordinator. The 56-year-old Kill has been plagued with epileptic seizures that led to his end as Minnesota's head coach following the 2015 season.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Jimmy Butler hit a pair of free throws with 2.5 seconds left and Damian Lillard's 3-point shot at the buzzer was off the mark as the Minnesota Timberwolves came from behind to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 108-107 on Monday night. Butler scored 37 points, had six rebounds and four assists for Minnesota, which finished a five-game homestand 3-2 after the comeback. Jamal Crawford had a season-high 23 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter, off the bench for the Wolves, who recovered from a disappointing loss on Saturday to Phoenix.
MINNEAPOLIS—While his former team and mentor were on the other sideline with their futures looking cloudy, Mike Zimmer had his Minnesota Vikings looking like a Super Bowl contender. With Zimmer's defense providing a dominating effort, two long-time friends were leading their teams on very divergent paths. Case Keenum passed for 236 yards and two touchdowns, and Minnesota's defense dominated Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals in a 34-7 win on Sunday, Dec. 17.