The winning streak is up to five games for the Minnesota Timberwolves after an impressive win over the Miami Heat.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Player grades from win over Miami Heat
The Miami Heat came to Target Center on Wednesday night as winners of five of their last six games. The Wolves had won four straight games and were looking for their first five-game winning streak since the 2017-18 season.
Things didn’t start out well for the home squad, however. Karl-Anthony Towns picked up three personal fouls before five minutes had gone by, and shortly thereafter, starting guard Patrick Beverley departed due to an injured groin. He was eventually ruled out and did not return.
The Wolves hung tough early, but the Heat put some distance between themselves and Minnesota in the second quarter, ultimately building an eight-point lead at the break.
Anthony Edwards was fantastic throughout but led the charge in the third quarter including a huge, game-tying 3-pointer in the middle stages. The Wolves didn’t look back, as Malik Beasley stepped up in place of Beverley and had a huge offensive night, and eventually, D’Angelo Russell came to the party as well with an ice-cold fourth quarter.
This was one of the more impressive wins in recent memory, and the Wolves now have a five-game winning streak with each win coming by a margin of double digits.
Anthony Edwards: A+
33 points (13-27 FG, 6-15 3P, 1-1 FT), 14 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, one block
What is there to say that the line doesn’t already say? The only blemishes on his game (if we’re really nitpicking, of course) is the five turnovers and only one free throw attempted.
Of course, one of those turnovers was this, so…
Edwards was everything the Timberwolves needed and more in a game in which Towns only played 29 minutes and was a bit off offensively. If Edwards plays like this on both ends of the floor each night, we’re talking about an All-Star play. Right. Now.
Malik Beasley: A
29 points (9-19 FG, 5-13 3P, 6-7 FT), 3 rebounds, one steal, one block
Beasley stepped up in a huge way, playing 38 minutes — the second-most on the team — in place of the injured Beverley.
Not only did Beasley knock down threes at a high-volume and relatively efficient clip, but he also was able to get to the free throw line at an uncharacteristically high rate.
This is exactly the kind of performance that the Wolves expected out of Beasley when they took a chance on re-signing him last offseason. It remains to be seen if he’ll assume the starting role in the event Beasley is unable to play this weekend, but if he does, this is along the lines of what head coach Chris Finch will be looking for in terms of production.
Jarred Vanderbilt: A
8 points (2-3 FG, 4-5 FT), 15 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 assists
There was a lot of talk generated by Chris Finch’s offseason comments regarding Jaden McDaniels displaying Dennis Rodman-like qualities. As it turns out, there may be more even more similarities between Vanderbilt and The Worm.
Vanderbilt only played 25 minutes but pulled down a whopping 15 rebounds to spur the Wolves to a +12 mark on the glass as a team against a Miami squad that came in as one of the league’s best units on the glass.
D’Angelo Russell: B+
20 points (6-14 FG, 4-10 3P, 4-4 FT), 6 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks, one steal
Russell wasn’t a focal point for much of the game but turned it on in the fourth quarter with 10 of his 20 points in the frame.
Overall, he provided the late punch the Wolves needed to fend off the Heat, and it was good to see Russell step up in a game that saw Towns and Beverley not able to provide what they typically would.
The Wolves travel to Charlotte to take on the Hornets on Friday before heading on to face the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.