Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Anthony Edwards puts up 33, Timberwolves make statement with 25 point Game 1 win

Phoenix Suns v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game One

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - APRIL 20: Anthony Edwards #5 of the Minnesota Timberwolves celebrates during the second half in game one of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs against the Phoenix Suns at Target Center on April 20, 2024 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Getty Images

What kind of game was it for Anthony Edwards? An “I’m playing so well I can chirp at Kevin Durant” kind of game.

Edwards was on a heater and dropped 33 on the Suns, most importantly sparking a third-quarter run that turned this game into a laugher and an eventual 25-point Minnesota win, 120-95.

The Timberwolves lead the series 1-0 with Game 2 on Tuesday night at the Target Center in Minnesota.

Kevin Durant had 31 to lead Phoenix and has a quality game. However, there are a few things the Suns will need to adjust if they are going to go home even.

The first is getting into their offense earlier. With its younger and longer defenders, Minnesota pressured Devin Booker and Bradley Beal 94 feet, and the non-traditional point guards didn’t handle it well. The Suns got into their sets late, limiting their options when it got deeper in the clock.

Next, Phoenix’s depth — a concern all season — has to be better. Simply put, Luka Garza played garbage time for the Timberwolves and had more points than Grayson Allen.

Then there were the backup big minutes. Phoenix’s starting center, Jusuf Nurkic, was -1 for the game, while Drew Eubanks was -14 behind him. The Suns could use more Durant at center minutes, but that wears on him.

In contrast, the Timberwolves bench and role players stepped up. Nickeil Alexander-Walker had 18 off the bench, hitting four from beyond the arc, and played great defense. Then there was Naz Reid reminding everyone why he is one of the leading candidates for Sixth Man of the Year.

Finally, the Suns just shot the ball poorly. Devin Booker was 5-of-16 from the floor. Grayson Allen was 0-of-3. Eric Gordon came off the bench and missed all five shots he took.

During the regular season meetings between these teams, which the Suns won all of (3-0), they were able to get to their spots in the midrange, knock down the looks, and frustrate the best defense in the league. Saturday, the Timberwolves were focused and their length on the perimeter threw off the Suns shooting. Phoenix will simply have to adjust, the Timberwolves defense will be there all series.

It’s just one game, and the Suns have been there before, but this was the kind of confidence-building Game 1 statement the Timberwolves needed.