MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell combined for 59 points to help the Minnesota Timberwolves overcome a rough night for Karl-Anthony Towns and beat the Los Angeles Clippers 109–104 in a play-in game on Tuesday night.
Edwards scored 30 points with five three-pointers and Russell had 29 points and six assists to send the Wolves to the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference and a first-round matchup with Memphis.
Paul George finished with 34 points after shooting 2 for 10 in the first half for the Clippers, who have a second chance to make the playoffs with a home game on Friday for the No. 8 seed against either New Orleans or San Antonio. Reggie Jackson (17 points) and Norman Powell (16 points) did their part in stretches, but the Clippers failed to put the Timberwolves away when they were struggling through the first half.
Towns had only 11 points on 3-for-11 shooting and fouled out midway through the fourth quarter, but his sidekicks were more than up to the challenge.
Jackson’s three-pointer gave the Clippers their largest lead of the game at 93–83 with 8:54 remaining, but about 4 minutes later Russell knocked down the go-ahead three-pointer for a 97–95 advantage the Wolves never relinquished. He saluted the crowd for the punctuation. Edwards followed with a tomahawk dunk after blowing by Powell at the top of the key.
The fans were fired up for this fast-paced, fast-improving team that’s headed to the playoffs for the second time in 17 years, but the buzz wore off a bit in the third quarter while George found his groove with a smooth 15 points.
Then Towns fouled out with 7:34 to go, less than two minutes after he had just checked back in.