Timberwolves Top Thunder 106-103 Despite Edwards Injury With Big All-around Game By Gobert

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 32 points on 13-for-22 shooting for the Thunder, and even after Timberwolves' Anthony Edwards' injury, Minnesota narrowly won 106-103.

Tuesday, November 28th 2023, 9:50 pm

By: Associated Press

Rudy Gobert had 17 points, 16 rebounds, and four blocks, reserve Troy Brown Jr. scored 17 points and the Minnesota Timberwolves withstood an injury to Anthony Edwards to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 106-103 on Tuesday night in the NBA In-Season Tournament.

Edwards had 12 of his 21 points in the third quarter to lead the Timberwolves back from a deficit they faced for most of the first half, before landing hard on his right side during a dunk attempt and leaving the game in pain.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 32 points on 13-for-22 shooting for the Thunder. His 37-foot try to tie at the buzzer, his only 3-point attempt of the night, was well off the mark. Brown made one of two foul shots with 4.5 seconds left to give the Thunder an opening.

Brown, in his first year with the Timberwolves after playing last season with the Los Angeles Lakers, swished a fadeaway 3-pointer from 29 feet for a five-point lead with 1:39 to go. Then he got a layup in traffic to fall with 31.6 seconds left to make it 103-98.

Chet Holmgren, who went 6 for 20 from the floor for 16 points, hit a 3-pointer with 26.6 seconds left to bring the Thunder back within two. Karl-Anthony Towns, who had 13 points and 10 rebounds, answered with a pair of free throws on the other end.

Gobert just as importantly played lockdown defense against Holmgren, a Minneapolis native and the second-overall pick in the 2022 draft playing his first pro game in his hometown.

Gobert played one of his most complete and inspired games since joining the Timberwolves before last season in a widely criticized trade with Utah that sent four first-round draft picks and the rights to 2022 first-round selection Walker Kessler to the Jazz.

The three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year was determined not to let the 21-year-old Holmgren — they’re both 7-foot-1 — get the best of him. Holmgren, who played at Minnehaha Academy High School and Gonzaga, was sidelined for all of last season with a foot injury.

During one possession late in the fourth quarter, Gobert was all over the paint with a long arm in Holmgren’s face — twice forcing him into missed shots, including an air-balled jumper from the top of the key. Gobert pumped his fist after each miss with the Timberwolves up 95-90.

The Timberwolves entered with a chance to reach the quarterfinals of the In-Season Tournament with enough help — and enough of a winning margin. Point differential serves as the second tiebreaker behind head-to-head results. Each of the six group winners get a spot, plus the best second-place team from each conference.

The Timberwolves finished 3-1 in the Western Conference Group C. The Thunder went 1-3. Golden State played at Sacramento later Tuesday to determine the group champion.


Thunder: Host the Lakers on Thursday.


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