The Wolves Rode A Big Night From Anthony Edwards To Win Game 4 Over The Mavs

The Minnesota Timberwolves will not be swept in the Western Conference Finals. With the team on the verge of heading to the offseason and the crowd in Dallas hoping to see their team earn a berth in the NBA Finals, Anthony Edwards was able to lead Minnesota to a 105-100 win over the Mavericks to make it a 3-1 series.

Edwards came out and looked like a man possessed on both ends of the court. After struggling from the field in the first three games of the series, Edwards came out in attack mode on offense and took on the Doncic assignment admirably on defense. He lived at the free throw line in the opening frame, too, going 5-for-8 from the stripe as he scored 14 first quarter points.

The Minnesota defense was tenacious, too, as it held Dallas to 6-for-21 shooting in the first. If not for a late burst at the end of the quarter, the Mavs would have had a far more daunting mountain to climb heading into the second, but instead, the Wolves lead was only 27-20.

Turnovers and fouls both turned out to be a huge problem for Minnesota as the second quarter went on. Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Rudy Gobert all picked up three fouls in the first half, while Dallas scored 20 points off of nine turnovers by their opponents. And with a little more than five minutes remaining, the Mavs got right back into the game — after trailing by as many as 12 points, Dallas ripped off an 11-0 run to take the lead.

The Timberwolves were able to settle down and not get caught up in the avalanche, with Mike Conley in particular doing an exceptional job running the show. As such, the two teams went into the locker room tied at 49, with both Doncic and Edwards going for 17 points to lead their respective teams.

Neither team was able to open up a lead of larger than five points in the third quarter. The first blow was landed by Dallas, which controlled the opening few minutes of the third thanks in large part to the play of Doncic and Daniel Gafford. And then, an 8-0 run by the Wolves in which Towns scored six points put them back ahead, and gave them a lead they would not relinquish throughout the remainder of the quarter.

While Jaden Hardy gave the Mavs a bit of energy towards the end of the third, Minnesota found itself in the driver’s seat going into the fourth with a 78-73 lead.

The early part of the final period was incredibly tense, as neither team was able to open up a comfortable lead — every time Minnesota started to create a little breathing room, Dallas would come right back down the floor and hit a shot that started to get the crowd into the game.

After a brutal first half, Towns started to show up later in the game, which included hitting back-to-back threes that took the air out of the building and put the Wolves up by five.

Minnesota was able to get its lead up to eight points thanks to a well-timed 11-2 run, but with 97 seconds left, Towns fouled out of the game while Doncic was shooting a three. He knocked down all three of his attempts from the charity stripe, Dallas got a stop, and after a bucket by Kyrie Irving, Minnesota’s lead was down to only three entering the final minute.

But Edwards would not be denied on the night. He patiently waited for an opportunity to present itself, and while he was one step inside the free throw line, he pulled up and knocked down a jumper.

The door got cracked open in the wildest of ways after Conley split a pair of free throws, as Doncic came down the floor and jacked up a three with the hopes something would go in. Not only did that happen, but Doncic got fouled, meaning he got to step up to the free throw line.

While he was able to do the hard part, Doncic’s free throw rimmed out. And after a timeout, Minnesota was able to draw up a layup for Naz Reid to secure the win.

Edwards had one of the best all-around games of his playoff career, going for 29 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists. Towns had 25 points, while Gobert had a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards. Conley stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points, seven assists, four steals, and three rebounds. Doncic had his fingerprints all over the game for the Mavericks, as he had 28 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists, although he only hit seven of his 21 attempts from the floor. Poor shooting nights were a theme for Dallas, as Irving (16 points, 6-for-18 shooting) and P.J. Washington (10 points, 3-for-13 shooting) really struggled from the field.

The two teams will now hop on planes and make their way back to Minnesota, where the Target Center will hope to spur the Timberwolves on to another win that continues to extend the series. Game 5 between the two teams will take place on Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. EST on TNT.