Anthony Edwards scored 30 points making five 3-pointers, D’Angelo Russell finished with 29 points, six assists and three steals as the Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 109-104 in a play-in game on Tuesday night at Target Center.
“I took what the game gave me, and that’s what they gave me,” said Edwards, who helped lead Minnesota to its 10th playoff appearance in team history.
The Wolves earned the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference and will take on No. 2 Memphis in a first-round matchup. The No. 8 Clippers, however, will have one more opportunity to make the playoffs with a home game on Friday to secure the eighth seed, hosting the winner of No. 9 New Orleans vs. No. 10 San Antonio.
“We got one game to win to get ready into the playoffs, and we’ll be ready on Friday,” Clippers coach Ty Lue said.
Karl-Anthony Towns was held to 11 points, making only 3-for-11 shots and fouled out midway through the fourth period as Minnesota was able to find other ways to beat LA without its All-Star.
“They played a lot better without KAT on the floor,” Lue said. “They got into us defensively. They switched on a lot of stuff. I thought they just made the right plays.”
Paul George finished with 34 points after converting only 2 for 10 shots in the first half for the Clippers. Reggie Jackson finished with 17 points, Norman Powell had 16 points and Marcus Morris Sr. added 12 for Los Angeles.
“Guys are positive. We feel like we know what we need to do on Friday,” Jackson said.
Minnesota led 53-51 at halftime after Russell converted two mid-range floaters and a three-pointer to take a brief two-point lead.
The Clippers responded and outscored the Wolves 33-25 in the third, taking an 84-78 advantage heading into the fourth period. Los Angeles took their largest lead of the night with a Jackson 3-pointer making it 93-83 with 8:54 remaining in regulation, but Minnesota finished with a 26-11 run to claim the 109-104 victory.
Edwards and Russell combined to score 15 points in the final six minutes of regulation as the Clippers had no answer for the duo that poured in 59 points total on the night.
“I should have done a better job adjusting,” Lue said on defending the Wolves guards.
Patrick Beverley, who played four seasons for the Clippers before being traded in the offseason, finished with seven points, 11 rebounds, one steal and one block while constantly making energetic plays on both ends of the floor.
“Hats off to him. He came here and he’s done something that he’s set out to do. Really wanted to help get them back in the playoffs. They’ve done it,” said Jackson on Beverley.”Best of luck to them moving forward. It’s always fun playing against Pat.”
Beverley was in tears post game and celebrated emotionally while interacting with the crowd once jumping on the scores table waving goodbye to his former team.
“It’s all for show. It’s for the crowd. I love it. I miss it, he doing it on our side. Because it’s contagious,” George said.
The Clippers will host the winner between the Spurs and Pelicans on Friday, April 16 at 7:00 PM at Crypto.com Arena.
“It’s honestly not even about the matchup, it’s win or go home. I could care less who we play. The mindset is win,” George said. There’s no pep-talk, X’s and O’s. We gotta win. We gotta win if we wanna continue our season.”