Monday, May 23, 2022

Timberwolves rookie Anthony Edwards drops career-high 49 points in win over Spurs

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards poured in a career-high 49 points in a win over the San Antonio Spurs Thursday night, capping off an incredibly efficient night for the 2020 No. 1 overall pick. Edwards took advantage of mismatches and got whatever he wanted over the course of the game. The career night was his third 40-point plus game of the season, tying him with LeBron James and Nikola Jokic.

While getting showed with water by teammate Karl-Anthony Towns after the game, Edwards gave credit to his teammates for putting him in a position to score.

“My teammates did a great job of finding me, and I thank them for that,” Edwards said.

By the end of the first quarter, Edwards already totaled 15 points, while going 6 of 9 from the field. The athletic guard cooled off in the second quarter, but when the third quarter rolled around he put his foot back on the gas and continued to rack up points. The game was coming so easy to Edwards, which was highlighted by this ferocious dunk over guard Tre Jones in the third quarter.

Minnesota coach Chris Finch joked after the game that the knee issues that have bothered Edward throughout the season certainly seemed to be behind him, and after that dunk on Jones, it definitely looked like he got his bounce back.

Finch also said the coaching staff talked with Edwards on Wednesday about being more aggressive, and clearly, he took that advice to heart.

“We talked to him yesterday. Coaching staff talked with him about trying to be a little more dominant when you can be dominant,” Finch said. “When those moments come, try to dominate a little bit more.”

Dominant is an understatement for Edwards’ performance Thursday evening. He wasn’t just racking up points, he was doing it efficiently, going 16 for 28 (57.1 percent) from the field and 6 of 14 (42.9 percent) from deep. Edwards also got teammates involved, finishing with eight assists and six rebounds.

The win was the Timberwolves’ 46th of the season, which is more than double the wins they had last year. Minnesota went from a lottery team to a playoff contender in one offseason, and part of that has to do with Edwards’ development. At one point in the season, the Wolves climbed as high as sixth in the West, but with the Denver Nuggets‘ win against the Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota is officially locked into a play-in spot. 

Though they still need to win at least one game to claim a playoff spot, the Timberwolves’ season should already be considered a success after winning just 23 games last year. If Minnesota does claim a playoff spot, they’ll be a tough team to beat for any of the top teams in the West, something that Edwards preached after the game.    

“I feel like we got everything we need,” Edwards said. “I feel like we’re gonna make a real good run in the playoffs, and they need to be ready for us.”

While Edwards isn’t going to drop 49 points every night, his production will be a major key if the Timberwolves want to make any sort of run in the playoffs.

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