Towns heroics in vain as Westbrook continues triple-double streak
Carmelo Anthony had the final word for the New York Knicks at the Minnesota Timberwolves as two of the NBA's rising stars went toe-to-toe.
Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns scored a sensational career-high 47 points, becoming the youngest player in franchise history to return a 40-point game, but still ended up on the losing side.
Towns' fellow 21-year-old Kristaps Porzingis had 29 points and eight rebounds in a thrilling contest, where the Wolves went on a 20-3 run to tie at 102 apiece with less than a minute on the clock.
It was left to Anthony, who had only 12 points to his name, to seal a 106-104 victory with 2.3 seconds remaining.
Russell Westbrook extended his triple-double streak to four games as the Oklahoma City Thunder required overtime to see off the Washington Wizards 126-115.
Westbrook netted 14 of his 35-point haul in the additional period as former Thunder coach Scott Brooks was unable to follow a warm reception by inspiring Washington to victory.
The Los Angeles Lakers won 96-90 at the Chicago Bulls, with Julius Randle making a late lay-up to edge them 92-90 ahead before combining with Lou Williams and Larry Nance Jr from the free-throw line to close out a hard-earned triumph.
TALK OF THE TOWNS
Minnesota's precocious talent became the second player this season to chalk up a 40-point, 15-rebound game, following Anthony Davis, who has completed the feat twice for New Orleans Pelicans.
Towns is the third youngest player to enjoy a 45-point, 15-rebound game, only outstripped by Kevin Durant and Shaquille O'Neal.
Brandon Jennings scored 12 points from the bench for New York, who scored 13 three-pointers to Minnesota's four.
WESTBROOK WALLOPS WIZARDS
Westbrook collected the four rebounds he needed to maintain his triple-double average, doing so in the first quarter to become the first player since Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double heading into December.
The Thunder star also hit a three-pointer to tie the score with 8.5 seconds remaining despite a patchy shooting effort on the night, where he hit seven of his first 28 attempts.
With 46 career triple-doubles, Westbrook is now sixth on the all-time list – going past LeBron James.
RANDLE HOLDS NERVE AS LAKERS TAME BULLS
Randle matched a career-high 20 rebounds as the Lakers offered a pleasing response to Tuesday's 105-88 reverse at New Orleans.
Nance ended with 12 points and 11 boards, with Williams and Jordan Clarkson contributing 18 points each.
Jimmy Butler hit 40 points when the Bulls beat the Lakers on November 20 and he led the way with 22 for his side this time around.
The young guns were having their fun in Minnesota... step forward Carmelo
Westbrook at work
The Detroit Pistons overcame the Boston Celtics 121-114, while the Toronto Raptors were also high-scoring winners – 120-105 – against the visiting Memphis Grizzlies and the Portland Trail Blazers stormed past the Indiana Pacers 131- 109.
The Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs were victorious on the road at the Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks respectively, while the Phoenix Suns edged out the Atlanta Hawks 109-107.
The Los Angeles Clippers have gone 6-4 in their last 10 games having started the season on a hot streak of 8-1. On Thursday they travel to face the Cleveland Cavaliers, who will be hoping to bounce back from a sound 118-101 beating at the hands of Milwaukee Bucks.