Anthony Edwards making case for MVP in triumphant win over Indiana

Mar 7, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards
Mar 7, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Less than 24 hours after the news regarding Karl-Anthony Towns' left knee injury hit social media, the Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Indiana Pacers 113-111. Sans Towns, Minnesota's All-Star guard went bezerk.

Anthony Edwards dropped 44 points, knocking down 18-of-35 field goal attempts. As the offensive focal point, the 22-year-old grabbed six boards and dished out three assists to zero turnovers.

He also made one of the best plays you'll ever see. With seven seconds to go, Edwards knocked down his first free throw to extend the lead to two points. However, he missed his second free throw, and Indiana immediately pushed to score.

Myles Turner grabbed the rebound and tossed it to Tyrese Haliburton, who launched an outlet pass to a sprinting Aaron Nesmith. After a single dribble, Nesmith went up for a game-tying layup. Out of nowhere, the uber-athletic Edwards skied for a monstrous rejection, denying Nesmith the points and the Pacers the tie.

If there was any doubt in Edwards' ability to lead a team, it should now be erased. The two-time All-Star tied his season-high with 44 points and put his clutch gene on display.

In the last minute and a half of game time, Edwards knocked down a 3-pointer to take the lead, canned back-to-back mid-range jumpers to further extend Indiana's deficit, and finished the game with his phenomenal block.

Despite shooting 46.9 percent from the field, 28.0 percent from 3-point range, and 73.7 percent from the line, the Wolves demonstrated that defense doesn't just win championships, it wins regular season games too.

Minnesota held the Pacers to 111 points, 12 less than their season average, and forced 15 Pacers turnovers, two more than their typical amount of giveaways. Although allowing a team to shoot higher than 50 percent from the floor is hardly a win, the Wolves controlled the game and forced Indiana to play their brand of basketball.

Being able to come away victorious despite shooting worse percentages across the board is quite impressive. The fact that the Wolves don't have to rely on their offense in this era of the NBA puts them squarely in the mix as a title contender.

While Edwards stole the spotlight, the narrative surrounding this affair was previously Towns' injury status. Luckily for Minnesota, it appears the All-Star big man will be able to return in time for the playoffs.

As for Towns' replacements, Kyle Anderson started at the power forward spot and contributed just three points, three boards, and four assists. Reserve big man Naz Reid recorded 13 points and eight rebounds but finished with the worst plus-minus of the night at minus-12.

Minnesota's newest addition, T.J. Warren, scored seven points on 3-of-5 shooting. In limited action, he displayed off-the-bounce scoring and spot-up shooting abilities. Although he's played in just one game thus far, Warren has potential starting potential going forward due to his shooting ability.

The Timberwolves' other starting forward also played quite well. Jaden McDaniels scored 11 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and dished out six assists. Like Warren, McDaniels showed some off-the-dribble scoring of his own. He played with confidence on offense and looked comfortable as a secondary playmaker.

The only unfortunate result to come from last night's affair was Monte Morris' early departure. Morris only managed six minutes of action before his early exodus. Luckily for the Wolves, it appears his injury isn't for concern. Left hamstring soreness was what took him out of the game.

After the big win, Minnesota doesn't have time to dwell. The Wolves take on the third-place Cleveland Cavaliers tonight at 6:30 p.m. CT.