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Timberwolves rally from 10 down in second half to top Houston

Anthony Edwards and Nate Knight provided the necessary jolt for Minnesota to escape with a 113-104 victory.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (1) dunks during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Jan. 21, 2023.
Brace Hemmelgarn / USA Today Sports
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One familiar face and another not so much stepped up big for the Timberwolves on Saturday night at Target Center.

Anthony Edwards was the shot in the arm Minnesota needed in the third quarter after a lackadaisical first 30 minutes of play against the worst team in the NBA. And Nate Knight was the chaser.

That concoction provided the necessary jolt for Minnesota to escape with a 113-104 victory.

Minnesota trailed hapless Houston by 12 points in the third after the Rockets (10-36) opened the quarter on a 16-6 run. Then Edwards decided the Wolves were not going to lose.

The guard completely took over the third frame, finishing with 16 points, three rebounds and three assists to push Minnesota (24-24) to a five-point lead at the end of the quarter. The guard finished with a season-high 44 points on the strength of eight triples.

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“He was locked in all day. We had talked (Saturday) about how important today was and how he needed to set the tone,” Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said. “He certainly did that, he was special today. Both ends of the floor, really. … Put a ton of energy into the building, as well.”

Then it was Knight, who only entered the game Saturday because Naz Reid and Luka Garza were in foul trouble as they attempted to tame Houston big Alperen Sengun, took the game over.

Knight parlayed the first-half boost he provided in Thursday’s win over Toronto into a near career-night Saturday.

Knight scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half. For the game, the big went 7 for 8 from the line and 2 for 3 from distance.

“He was exactly what we needed,” Finch said.

Minnesota flirted with disaster on a couple more occasions — Houston was still within five with six minutes to play. But as it did Thursday, the Wolves’ defense turned up again at the right time.

Minnesota converted three consecutive stops into transition buckets — the last of which was a thunderous alley oop from D’Angelo Russell to Edwards.

“Second half we came out and was like ‘We’ve got to turn up the intensity in this game,'” Edwards said in his postgame, on-court interview, “and that’s what we did.”

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That all helped Minnesota overcome a night in which it was outshot and outrebounded by 26.

Minnesota will meet the Rockets again Monday, this time in Houston. The Wolves will assuredly not want to tempt fate again with another slow start. But the Wolves know even should that occur, they always have the luxury of possessing Edwards in their back pocket.

“We’ve lost this game many times this season,” Finch said. “It’s all about our approach and mindset.”

Briefly

Timberwolves wing Taurean Prince left the game with an ankle injury and did not return.

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This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
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