NBA: Anthony Edwards puts up 49 as Timberwolves wallop Spurs
Anthony Edwards poured in a career-high 49 points to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 127-121 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday in Minneapolis in a game with Western Conference playoff implications.
Because the Denver Nuggets (48-33) also won on Thursday, the Timberwolves (46-35) are locked into the seventh spot in the West, which means a home game against the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers (40-40) in the play-in tournament on Tuesday.
Despite the loss, San Antonio (34-46) is still in the running for the ninth spot (and a home game in the play-in tourney) but would have to win its final two games and have the New Orleans Pelicans (36-44) lose their final two.
The Timberwolves were up by 12 after a free throw by Edwards with 1:36 left, but San Antonio fought back as Minnesota tried to make sure Edwards topped his previous career high of 48 points. The Spurs pulled within 125-121 with 8.4 seconds remaining but could get no closer.
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Karl-Anthony Towns added 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Timberwolves, with Malik Beasley and Jaylen Nowell scoring 11 each and Jaden McDaniels hitting for 10.
Keldon Johnson scored 20 points to lead the Spurs, who had won seven of their previous eight games. Devin Vassell added 18, Jakob Poeltl racked up 15 points and 17 rebounds, and Keita Bates-Diop and Tre Jones scored 14 each.
Both teams were without key players. The Spurs’ Dejounte Murray missed the game due to an upper-respiratory illness and Lonnie Walker IV was out with a sore back. The Timberwolves’ D’Angelo Russell was a late scratch because of a hamstring injury.
Minnesota got the jump on the Spurs early in the first quarter, leading 25-18 after a 3-pointer by Edwards at the 3:41 mark. But San Antonio rallied, outscoring the Timberwolves 17-5 over the rest of the period to take a 35-30 lead after 12 minutes of play.
The Timberwolves roared back in the second, going up 53-48 after a dunk and a 3-pointer by Towns on the way to a 64-57 advantage at the break.
Edwards had 20 points in the first half, 15 of them in the opening quarter, while Towns and Nowell added 11 points each for the Timberwolves. Vassell, with 11 points, was the only San Antonio player in double figures before halftime.