Anthony Edwards scored 22 of his game-high 32 points in the third quarter to help the Minnesota Timberwolves seize control of a 111-90 win over the visiting Houston Rockets on Sunday.
After missing 7 of 8 shots in the first half, Edwards caught fire in the third period. He began his tear with a driving layup at the 10:07 mark that doubled the Timberwolves’ halftime lead to 54-46 and followed with an assortment of shots showcasing his scoring talents.
Edwards converted two floaters before sandwiching a pair of 3-pointers around a 9-footer. Mike Conley made a free throw with 5:47 left in the period that snapped a stretch of 16 consecutive points for Minnesota by Edwards, who resumed his onslaught with two more 3s that extended the lead to 73-54 with 3:59 remaining in the third.
Edwards scored 22 of 23 points for Minnesota before Jordan McLaughlin buried a corner 3 for a 78-60 lead with 1:06 left. Edwards shot 9 of 12 overall in the third, including 4 of 5 from behind the arc.
The Rockets, meanwhile, missed 20 of 27 attempts in the frame, reflective of their game-long struggles against the Timberwolves’ stifling defense. Alperen Sengun posted a double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds) for Houston while rookie Cam Whitmore scored 14 off the bench.
However, Whitmore shot only 4 for 13 while Fred VanVleet tallied 11 points on 4-for-11 shooting. Houston shot 35.2 percent overall, including 10 for 30 on 3s, and missed nine of 27 free throw attempts.
Rudy Gobert paired 17 points with 13 rebounds and added four blocked shots while Karl-Anthony Towns (14 points, 10 boards and two blocks) also recorded a double-double for Minnesota. Naz Reid added 13 points and two blocks off the bench. The Timberwolves outrebounded Houston 58-41.
Houston started 3 for 3 from deep before cooling off precipitously, closing the first quarter 8 for 20 from the floor. Edwards’ lone field goal of the first half was part of a three-point play that gave Minnesota a 21-13 lead, an advantage the Timberwolves stretched to 12 early in the second.
The Rockets took advantage of the Timberwolves’ nine second-quarter turnovers to claw back, pulling even at 44-44 on a Sengun layup with 1:25 left in the half. But a transition dunk from Gobert plus two Edwards free throws provided Minnesota a 48-44 halftime advantage.
–Field Level Media
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