Minnesota Timberwolves: Player grades from loss to Golden State Warriors

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards shoots the basketball against Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards shoots the basketball against Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

On Wednesday night against the Golden State Warriors, a career-best performance from Anthony Edwards wasn’t enough to pull the Minnesota Timberwolves out of their slump.

Minnesota Timberwolves comeback falls short in loss to Golden State Warriors

The Warriors defeated the Wolves by a score of 123-110 at Chase Center, making 10 straight losses for Minnesota at Golden State.

The Wolves were helpless to stop the Warriors’ offense in the first half, when the Warriors had a 72 percent effective field goal percentage. The Warriors dropped their efficiency a bit in the second half but made it look easy on the whole, picking the Wolves apart to the tune of 30 assists and punishing Minnesota in transition, winning the fast break points battle 24-14.

Golden State entered the game ranked No. 24 in offensive rebounds with nine per game but hit the Wolves hard with 20 on the night and 25 second-chance points.

“We lack in size, so we have to sandwich box out,” Karl-Anthony Towns said in the postgame press conference. “That’s really what it comes down to. We just gotta do better.”

Old friend Andrew Wiggins was motivated from the jump to give Minnesota the business; he scored 35 points and made his first 10 shot attempts of the game. He didn’t have a missed shot until a few minutes into the third quarter.

He also added a pair of highlight dunks on Towns.

The Wolves did make a run to cut the lead as low as four in the third quarter on the back of some hot shooting. Draymond Green’s departure with a right thigh contusion aided the Woves’ comeback efforts, but the Warriors pulled away again in the fourth quarter.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Player grades from loss to Golden State Warriors

Anthony Edwards: A+

48 points (16-27 FG, 7-13 3P, 9-12 FT), four rebounds, five assists, two steals, six turnovers

Hard to give anything else for a career-high, right? Edwards had perhaps the best game of his career, attacking the rim relentlessly and capitalizing on a hot shooting night. The assist numbers show he wasn’t just hogging the ball and jacking up shots at every opportunity, either.

When Edwards departed the game for the first time at the end of the first quarter, the Wolves were down 31-28. Edwards was the main reason Minnesota hung in the game, pouring in 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting.

By the time he returned with 7:51 left in the second quarter, his team was down 47-34 and had allowed a few highlight plays that had the Chase Center in a tizzy. That time was effectively when the game was decided, even though the Wolves pulled closer late in the third quarter.

Karl-Anthony Towns: C-

17 points (6-19 FG, 5-10 3P),12 rebounds, four assists

Towns had another good night from behind the arc and did a good job of eliminating turnovers, but he just wasn’t impactful enough. He was inefficient around the basket (one of nine on 2-point shots), and despite solid rebounding numbers, significant blame falls on the center for failing to keep a poor offensive rebounding team off the glass.

“I didn’t think they did anything to particularly limit him,” head coach Chris Finch said of Towns after the game. “He’s gotta finish, he’s gotta be strong, he’s gotta go quick. I thought he battled — offensive rebounds, guys [are] draped on him and he’s trying to put it back up there, just couldn’t get one to go in. Frustrating night for him, but he kept playing hard.”

D’Angelo Russell: C

18 points (7-15 FG, 4-10 3P), seven assists, four turnovers

Russell played pretty poorly for much of the game but saved himself with a barrage of 3-pointers during the Wolves’ run in the third quarter. He ends up middle-of-the-road because he finished with decent counting stats on pretty good efficiency.

Still, Russell has to find a way to be more consistent. Maybe it just takes more time building an offensive flow with this group, but his production only seems to come in spurts. That’s an issue that is reflected in the team as a whole.

Naz Reid: A-

16 points (5-12 FG, 1-3 3P, 5-6 FT), seven rebounds, two assists, one steal

Reid made plenty of impressive offensive plays that the Wolves absolutely needed. He looked like he’d fit in well with the Warriors with his quick decision-making.

He also showed he can play alongside Karl-Anthony Towns on both ends of the floor. That’s going to be important given the Timberwolves’ issues rebounding the ball. Finch went to the two-big lineup at a crucial point in the fourth quarter, and while it didn’t pay off with a win, it showed he’s starting to trust it more.

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The Wolves have now lost their last six games and face the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday in the third game on their four-game road trip.