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Anthony Edwards scores 36 points, Timberwolves beat Suns 126-109 for 3-0 series lead



Anthony Edwards scores 36 points, Timberwolves beat Suns 126-109 for 3-0 series lead

PHOENIX (AP) — Anthony Edwards hit a jumper late within the fourth quarter and snarled as he ran down the court docket, pounding his chest along with his fist for emphasis as Minnesota pulled away for an additional dominant playoff win.

The Timberwolves are the plain alpha canines by three video games of this more and more lopsided collection.

Edwards scored 36 factors, Rudy Gobert added 19 factors and 14 rebounds and the Timberwolves used a hot-shooting third quarter to beat the Phoenix Suns 126-109 on Friday night time and take a 3-0 lead within the first-round matchup.

“We’re simply embracing the second,” Gobert mentioned. “We’ve got just one purpose in thoughts and we’re making an attempt to ensure we don’t get distracted by the success or the ups and downs. We’re simply locked in.”

Minnesota goes for the sweep in Sport 4 on Sunday in Phoenix.

The Wolves by no means trailed on Friday.

“This can be a staff you’ll want to dictate phrases with,” Minnesota coach Chris Finch mentioned. “You don’t need to get behind huge on them due to the way in which they will shoot the ball. That’s been a part of our messaging, a part of our emphasis, now we have to get off to good begins.”

It was the third straight sport the Wolves used an enormous third to show a good sport into a cushty victory. Minnesota hit 7 of 11 3-pointers throughout the surge, together with 4 from Nickeil Alexander-Walker, to take a 22-point lead into the fourth.

Bradley Beal led the Suns with 28 factors whereas Kevin Durant had 25 and Devin Booker 23. The remainder of the staff scored simply 33 factors.

The 7-foot-1 Gobert mentioned he’s seen the Suns being hesitant to drive within the lane when he’s there.

“That’s what I do finest,” Gobert mentioned. “I attempt to be a presence, give confidence to my teammates, ensuring I’m there for them. I’m making an attempt to get some blocks, however they don’t actually strive me. So on the finish of the day, that’s higher than any block.”

Minnesota had a six-point halftime lead and stretched its benefit to 69-58 early within the third after back-to-back 3-pointers from Mike Conley and Karl-Anthony Cities. Late within the third, Alexander-Walker hit his fourth 3-pointer of the quarter for a 95-73 lead.

The Wolves had been additionally dominant on the glass, ending with a 50-28 rebounding benefit. Edwards shot 12 of 23 from the sector and hit all 11 of his free throws whereas including 9 rebounds and 5 assists.

“We bought killed on the boards. This can be a greater, stronger staff,” Suns coach Frank Vogel mentioned. “We’ve bought to compete and win the 50-50 balls. I assumed our guys gave the trouble, however it wasn’t sufficient.”

Six Minnesota gamers scored in double figures. Cities completed with 18 factors and 13 rebounds whereas Alexander-Walker scored 16.

The listless Suns might by no means reduce the deficit to single digits within the fourth. Now they’re one loss away from what could be a bitterly disappointing season after coming into the yr with championship aspirations. By the top of the third quarter, there have been scattered boos coming from the house crowd.

Booker mentioned he couldn’t blame them.

“We put ourselves in a gap and we’ve bought to dig ourselves out of it,” Booker mentioned. “In order that’s that.”

Phoenix’s Josh Okogie, who had eight factors, was ejected late within the fourth after a tough foul on Gobert.

The Timberwolves led 59-53 on the halftime break following a aggressive first half. Edwards led the Wolves with 16 factors whereas Durant had 14 for the Suns. Eric Gordon gave Phoenix a spark with 10 factors within the first quarter, however it was brief lived.

The Suns performed with out beginning guard Grayson Allen, who led the NBA in 3-point capturing proportion this season. Allen’s coping with a sprained ankle from Sport 1 that he aggravated in Sport 2.



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