Minnesota Timberwolves: Player grades from loss to Memphis Grizzlies

The story of this game was not the Minnesota Timberwolves’ loss. It was Anthony Edwards’ insanely efficient and dominant performance.

Memphis Grizzlies
139
Minnesota Timberwolves
135

The Minnesota Timberwolves had a chance to defeat the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night, taking a lead late midway through the third quarter despite trailing by 10 at halftime. Ultimately, however, Karl-Anthony Towns’ foul trouble and a dominant night by Ja Morant were too much for the Wolves to overcome.

But that isn’t what everyone wants to talk about in the wake of the loss.

The conversation starts and ends with Anthony Edwards and his extremely serious bid for the Rookie of the Year award.

Edwards didn’t do much early in the game, but he heated up in a major way in the middle stages. He almost single-handedly led the Wolves’ third-quarter comeback as they went on a 30-15 run and surged ahead by five.

But with Towns on the bench with five fouls late in the third, the Wolves could not do enough defensively in the paint or on the glass to extend their lead. The Grizzlies stormed back, and Minnesota simply could not slow down Morant, the reigning Rookie of the Year award-winner.

The Wolves were still in the game down the stretch, down just two with 1:43 left. But Towns threw the ball out of bounds in an unforced error. Then, after another make from Morant, D’Angelo Russell knocked down a shot to pull Minnesota back with two.

But after a Morant miss, the Wolves couldn’t secure the rebound and Desmond Bane knocked down a 3-pointer to effectively seal the game.

The home team made it somewhat interesting after Morant missed a pair of three free throws down the stretch and an Edwards 3-pointer got the Wolves to within three with under 10 seconds to play. Bane missed the front-end of his free throw attempts to give the Wolves a glimmer of hope, but he made the second to secure a two-possession lead.

Minnesota Timberwolves Player Grades vs. Memphis Grizzlies

KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS

Center, Minnesota Timberwolves

B

It was something of an odd night for Karl-Anthony Towns. The story was foul trouble, as he picked up his fifth foul late in the third quarter and had to sit until just past the midway of the fourth. For the game, Towns played just 24 minutes and had 22 points, five assists, and four rebounds while shooting 7-of-15 from the floor. He was 3-of-6 from outside the arc and a perfect 5-of-5 from the charity stripe. There were a few layups and post moves that simply rimmed out, and when he was actually on the floor and not committing fouls, he played solid defense for the most part.
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ANTHONY EDWARDS

Wing, Minnesota Timberwolves

A

Anthony Edwards had the most impressive offensive performance of his young career, dropping 42 points on just 22 shots. He somehow only attempted one free throw despite putting up 10 shots in the paint, but he was 8-of-9 from outside the arc. Edwards started the game with judicious shot selection but as the game went on, he simply started launching from everywhere. And it didn’t matter — everything was going in. Also significant was his career-high seven assists and six rebounds in an all-around fantastic game for the potential Rookie of the Year.