Anthony Edwards’ career-high 51 points sparks strong reaction after Timberwolves’ win over Wizards

Anthony Edwards’ career-high 51 points earned strong Chris Finch and Karl-Anthony Towns reactions.

Anthony Edwards and the Minnesota Timberwolves hosted the short-handed Washington Wizards on Tuesday night. With the Timberwolves looking at a back-to-back matchup with the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night, the goal was to beat Washington convincingly and earn some extra rest before the showdown with Denver. However, the Wizards had other plans. A fast 8-0 start snowballed into an eventual 21-point lead for Washington in the first quarter.

The Timberwolves’ usual elite defense was nowhere to be seen in the first 12 minutes on Tuesday night. The Wizards generated a ton of wide-open looks. Corey Kispert and Jordan Poole caught fire out of the gate to put Minnesota in that big hole. In a more focused second quarter, though, the Wolves found a way to shrink the gap.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker provided a spark in the first half by draining multiple triples and blanketing Poole at times throughout the night on the defensive end. NAW asserted himself with an impressive 23 points, leading all bench scorers. Alexander-Walker was a huge bright spot, but he wasn’t the main story. Timberwolves star guard Anthony Edwards stole the show as the Wolves roared back, turning their large deficit into a convincing win behind Ant’s career-high 51 points.

Edwards’ career night resulted from absurd efficiency on serious volume. Not only did Ant-Man connect on all 11 of his free throws, but the two-time All-Star went unconscious from the field as well. Building on his 21 first-half points, Edwards was unguardable in the final 24 minutes. Pouring in 30 second-half points, Ant shot 17-of-29 from the field and drilled six threes in the process.

Ant’s 51 points marks the eighth 50+ point game in Timberwolves franchise history. Becoming the sixth player in Wolves history to reach the incredible mark, Edwards’ outrageous night sparked strong reactions from his teammates and his head coach postgame.

Chris Finch praises Anthony Edwards’ night

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (5) looks for a pass with head coach Chris Finch watching in the third quarter against the Washington Wizards at Target Center. Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports
After the Timberwolves pulled off the comeback win, head coach Chris Finch was very complementary of his ascending superstar guard. Not only was his absurd scoring the highlight, but the Timberwolves coach was most impressed with Anthony Edwards’ decision-making on the night as he willed the Wolves to a win.

“The best thing about it for me was: they came in the flow, he kept making the right play down the stretch for the most part. He was really finding people. Guys were knocking down some shots for him too.”

To Finch’s credit, Edwards led all players in assists on Tuesday night. Dishing out seven dimes to go along with his career-best 51 point showing, Edwards was toying with the defense all night long as he torched the Wizards in single coverage. It was clear Washington didn’t have a defensive answer for him.

However, when they tried to send two or more his way, Ant consistently made the right play. The drive-and-kick game was in full effect as Edwards’ scoring gravity drew in the defense to create open looks for others. After his initial praise for Edwards, Finch circled back to emphasize the performance.

“[Edwards] showed patience, poise. Great efficiency… that’s the way you get to 50 [points]. It’s not a volume thing, it’s an efficiency thing, and I thought it was an unbelievable performance.”

An unbelievable performance it was.

The Target Center crowd was left in awe as “M-V-P” chants roared in even while Wizards wing Deni Avdija was at the free throw line. The love and adoration for the face of the Timberwolves franchise was both seen and heard clearly on Tuesday night with cheers and a standing ovation for an unreal performance.

Karl-Anthony Towns shows love

The fans were’t the only ones to show Anthony Edwards some love on Tuesday night. Minnesota’s other All-Star, Karl-Anthony Towns, was at the front of the line to congratulate Ant on his accomplishment. Sitting on the Wolves’ bench as he nears his return from his meniscus injury, KAT got up and was the first teammate to dap up Edwards after his 51-point outburst.

Clearly excited for his fellow star, KAT delivered the game ball to Edwards in the locker room. Towns followed up his support with a social media post once again showing love to his co-star.

As the postseason nears, Anthony Edwards’ recent play paired with a likely Karl-Anthony Towns return to the lineup makes the Wolves as dangerous as anyone. Looking to turn back the clocks to the 2003-04 season, Minnesota might have its best chance to return to the Western Conference Finals (or deeper) in these upcoming playoffs.

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