Boston’s Jayson Tatum works against Minnesota’s Nickel Alexander-Walker in the second quarter Wednesday night in Minneapolis. Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Jaylen Brown scored 35 points and Jayson Tatum added 22 as the Boston Celtics held on to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 104-102 on Wednesday night.

Malcolm Brogdon added 12 points off the bench for Boston, which overcame a tough shooting night to win for the third time in four games.

The Celtics shot 40.5% from the field and were 12 of 40 (30%) from 3-point territory. They remained a game ahead of Philadelphia for second in the Eastern Conference and closed within 2 1/2 games of Milwaukee for first.

Anthony Edwards had 28 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota, which has lost 3 of 4.

Kyle Anderson scored 15 for Minnesota and Naz Reid added 15 off the bench.

With Minnesota trailing 101-99, Edwards missed a 3 with 32.2 seconds left that would have given the Timberwolves their first lead since the first quarter. Grant Williams collected an offensive rebound for Boston and won a jump ball after being tied up.


Tatum finished with a pair of free throws to put the game away. Edwards and Anderson were then ejected with 1.7 seconds left after arguing with officials.

It was a defensive struggle in the first half between two teams that started the day in the top-10 in defensive rating in the league. The Celtics shot 32.6% in the first half and the Timberwolves finished at 36.4%.

The matchup turned testy at times. Brown was assessed a technical foul in the first half after an altercation with Minnesota’s Rudy Gobert. Brown, who is wearing a mask after sustaining a facial fracture, seemed to take offense after getting hit with an elbow from Gobert.

Gobert was given a Flagrant I foul in the second half after he challenged a dunk from Tatum. Gobert hit Tatum with his hands as he elevated and Tatum fell hard to the court. Officials raised the foul to flagrant after a review. Moments earlier, Gobert also got a technical foul for hanging on the rim after a dunk.

NOTES: Coach Joe Mazzulla said Robert Williams, who missed his sixth straight game with a left hamstring strain, could be back “in the next week or so.” … Tatum was 0 for 8 on 3s but 14 of 16 from the free-throw line. … Boston led by as many as 14 in the third.

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