MINNEAPOLIS -- The newest Timberwolves made their debut but it was holdovers Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins who led host Minnesota to a 107-100 victory against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night.
Towns had 25 points and 16 rebounds and Wiggins scored 23 points and they were supported by the principal players in the Jimmy Butler trade as Robert Covington scored 13 and Dario Saric came off the bench to score nine. Jeff Teague had 14 points and 14 assists, Josh Okogie scored 11 and Taj Gibson 10.
E'Twaun Moore led the Pelicans by scoring 31 points two nights after he had 30 in his team's third straight victory, a 126-110 win at Toronto. Anthony Davis had 29 points and 11 rebounds, Nikola Mirotic had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Jrue Holiday had 14 points and 10 assists.
Minnesota, which swept the four-game series against New Orleans last season led by four after three quarters and build the lead to 11 early in the fourth.
Davis scored five points and Holiday's basket completed an 8-0 run that gave New Orleans its only lead of the game at 96-94, but the Pelicans scored just four points in the final four and a half minutes.
Wiggins' 3-pointer put Minnesota back on top and he added a free throw, Covington made a layup and Towns a free throw to increase the lead to 101-96 with three minutes left.
After a basket by Mirotic, Gibson made a free throw and Wiggins had a three-point play to give the Wolves a 105-98 lead.
Minnesota held a 67-54 halftime lead and built the margin to 15 early in the third quarter before New Orleans made a push.
Mirotic made a 3-pointer that cut the lead to 75-59 before the Wolves rebuilt the margin to 10.
Moore and Davis scored five points each as New Orleans got within two before Saric made two free throws to give Minnesota an 85-81 lead after three quarters.
Towns had 15 points as the Wolves took a 38-28 lead after the first period.
They extended the lead to 67-54 at halftime as Towns finished the half with 20 points and 10 rebounds.