Timberwolves stun Grizzlies, grab Game 1 win
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Anthony Edwards scored 36 points in his postseason debut, and the seventh-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves stunned the No. 2 seed Memphis Grizzlies 130-117 on Saturday to grab home-court advantage in the opener of their first-round Western Conference series.
Karl-Anthony Towns added 29 and 13 rebounds. Malik Beasley had 23 points, and Jaden McDaniels 15. Patrick Beverley and D’Angelo Russell had 10 apiece.
The Timberwolves, fresh off beating the Los Angeles Clippers in the play-in game, won their first playoff opener since 2004. They beat Sacramento in round one to reach the Western Conference finals.
Game 2 will be held in Memphis on Tuesday night.
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Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) shoots ahead of Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams (4) during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Memphis, Tenn.
(AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Ja Morant led Memphis with 32 points and eight assists, and Dillon Brooks added 24 points. Brandon Clarke had 13 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. Desmond Bane scored 17 points and Jaren Jackson Jr. had 12.
Memphis tied the franchise record by winning 56 games in the regular season and earning its highest seed ever. Only their third game in Memphis, the Grizzlies were greeted by a packed FedExForum. They struggled to lead after a week of rest and were trailing only twice by two midway through the second half.
In this matchup between the NBA’s top scoring offenses and two the league’s youngest teams, the Timberwolves set franchise records in terms of points scored in the first quarter as well as the entire game. They also outplayed Memphis’ 3-point shooting, rebounding, and defense. The Timberwolves looked like a team who needed to win Tuesday night to secure its seeding. They opened with a 9-2 run and led by as much as 13 before a 41-33 lead for the franchise’s highest-scoring first quarter in the playoffs.
Minnesota led 65-62 at halftime, then outscored Memphis 32-30 in the third for a 97-92 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Timberwolves: They topped the 121 points scored April 21, 2018, against Houston in the only game they won that series. Their first quarter topped the 32 points scored May 23, 2004, in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. … Towns had his 43rd double-double of the season. In the third quarter, Russell had five assists. But he was 2 of 11 shooting for eight points after having 37 in his last game against Memphis in February.
Grizzlies: Jackson set a franchise playoff record with seven blocks through the first three quarters. That topped the six blocks by Marc Gasol on May 13, 2013, against Oklahoma City. Clarke recorded his fifth double-double for the season. Steven Adams and Jackson combined for seven rebounds.
A woman chained herself to the basket stanchion and stopped play with 4: 44 left in the second quarter. The woman was wearing a blue shirt to indicate that she was protesting the Minnesota factory farm co-owner. This is the same situation as the woman who stuck herself to the Timberwolves’ floor during the Timberwolves’ play in game earlier this week.
The woman, who was not from Memphis, used a chain to attach herself to the basket closets that lead to the Timberwolves bench. After security personnel removed the chain around her neck, she was taken to the back and taken from the arena.
Game 2 is Tuesday night in Memphis.
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