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