Karl-Anthony Towns had 25 points and 16 rebounds, Andrew Wiggins scored 23 and the Minnesota Timberwolves improved to 2-0 since trading Jimmy Butler with a 107-100 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night.

Jeff Teague added 14 points and 14 assists for the Timberwolves.

Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns, left, drives on New Orleans Pelicans' Julius Randle during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns, left, drives on New Orleans Pelicans’ Julius Randle during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

E’Twaun Moore scored a season-high 31 and Anthony Davis had 29 points and 11 rebounds for the Pelicans, who had won three straight.

Minnesota led 52-31 early in the second quarter but the Pelicans chipped away, cutting their deficit to 13 at halftime and just four going into the fourth quarter.

Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns shoots as New Orleans Pelicans' Julius Randle defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns shoots as New Orleans Pelicans’ Julius Randle defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

The Timberwolves scored the first seven points of the period to stretch their lead to 92-81, but New Orleans responded with a 15-2 run to take its first lead of the game on a 12-foot jumper by Jrue Holiday.

Wiggins’ 3-pointer put the Wolves back on top and Towns followed with a three-point play to give Minnesota some breathing room.

Minnesota Timberwolves' Taj Gibson dunks against the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minnesota Timberwolves’ Taj Gibson dunks against the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Then with 2 minutes to go, Towns, playing with five fouls, blocked Davis’ layup attempt and fed Wiggins on the other end for a thunderous dunk. Wiggins was fouled as well, and his free throw put Minnesota up 105-98.

The game was Minnesota’s first with forwards Robert Covington and Dario Saric. They were acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers along with injured guard Jerryd Bayless in exchange for the disgruntled Butler.

Minnesota Timberwolves' Jeff Teague, front, drives past New Orleans Pelicans' Tim Frazier during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minnesota Timberwolves’ Jeff Teague, front, drives past New Orleans Pelicans’ Tim Frazier during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

The trade was completed Monday, meaning Covington and Saric did not join their new teammates in time for the Timberwolves’ 120-113 victory over Brooklyn that night.

Covington started Wednesday, scoring 13 points and grabbing seven rebounds. He drained a pair of long, catch-and-shoot 3s in the third quarter as the Timberwolves were trying to hold off a Pelicans comeback.

New Orleans Pelicans' E'Twaun Moore, left, drives on Minnesota Timberwolves' Andrew Wiggins in the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves won 107-100. Moore led the Pelicans with 31 points. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
New Orleans Pelicans’ E’Twaun Moore, left, drives on Minnesota Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins in the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves won 107-100. Moore led the Pelicans with 31 points. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Saric came off the bench to contribute nine points and three boards in 20 minutes.

Towns had 15 points and nine rebounds in the first quarter as Minnesota raced out to a 38-28 lead, shooting 55.6 percent from the field and hitting 6 of 11 3-pointers in the process.

New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis, left, lays up over Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns in the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves won 107-100. Towns led the Timberwolves with 25 points. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis, left, lays up over Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns in the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves won 107-100. Towns led the Timberwolves with 25 points. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

TIP-INS

Pelicans: C Nikola Mirotic returned after missing two games with a right ankle sprain. He had 16 points and 10 boards. . Head coach Alvin Gentry said PG Elfrid Payton is close to returning from his own right ankle sprain, but he sat out his ninth straight game.

New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis, right, dunks as Minnesota Timberwolves' Andrew Wiggins watches in the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves won 107-100. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis, right, dunks as Minnesota Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins watches in the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves won 107-100. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Timberwolves: The win was Minnesota’s fifth straight against New Orleans. . G Derrick Rose (left knee soreness) did not dress after playing 39 minutes in the win over Brooklyn on Monday. Rose is averaging 19.2 points and 4.8 assists per game this season. . Teague played for the second time in three days after missing six games with a bruised left knee.

UP NEXT

Newly acquired Minnesota Timberwolves' Dario Saric, right, of Croatia, tries to reach the ball as New Orleans Pelicans' Julius Randle keeps it at arm's length in the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Newly acquired Minnesota Timberwolves’ Dario Saric, right, of Croatia, tries to reach the ball as New Orleans Pelicans’ Julius Randle keeps it at arm’s length in the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Pelicans: Host the New York Knicks on Friday night.

Timberwolves: Host the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.

Minnesota Timberwolves' Dario Saric, left, of Croatia, works against New Orleans Pelicans' Julius Randle in the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minnesota Timberwolves’ Dario Saric, left, of Croatia, works against New Orleans Pelicans’ Julius Randle in the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

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Source: The Associated Press

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