Edwards, Russell lead Timberwolves past Clippers to enter playoffs as seventh seed | CBC Sports

Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell combined for 59 points to help the Minnesota Timberwolves overcome a tough night for Karl-Anthony Towns and beat the Los Angeles Clippers 109-104 in a play-in game Tuesday night at Minneapolis, Minn.

Edwards had 30 points with five 3-pointers and Russell had 29 points and six assists to send the Wolves to the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference and a first-round matchup with Memphis.

Paul George finished with 34 points after shooting 2-for-10 in the first half for the Clippers, who have a second chance to make the playoffs with a home game Friday for the No. 8 seed against either New Orleans or San Antonio. Reggie Jackson (17 points) and Norman Powell (16 points) did their part in the stretches, but the Clippers couldn’t get the Timberwolves out when they were struggling through the first half.

Towns scored just 11 points on 3-for-11 shooting and drew fouls midway through the fourth quarter, but his cronies were more than up to the challenge.

Jackson’s 3-pointer gave the Clippers their biggest lead of the game at 93-83 with 8:54 remaining, but about four minutes later, Russell knocked down the go-ahead 3-pointer for a 97-95 lead the Wolves never relinquished. He waved to the crowd for the score. Edwards followed up with a tomahawk dunk after Powell overlooked at the top of the key.

Fans were hyped about this fast-paced, rapidly improving team heading to the playoffs for the second time in 17 years, but the hype faded a bit in the third quarter as George found his groove with a smooth 15 points.

Towns then fouled out with 7:34 to go, less than two minutes after he had just returned.

The Clippers have played the entire season without star Kawhi Leonard as he recovers from an ACL repaired from the injury he sustained in the second round of the playoffs last year, but the recent return of George and Powell from their long-term injuries term helped them recover. closer to their form from last summer when they reached the Western Conference finals. Powell, in a super backup role, was a trade-deadline acquisition from Portland.

The Clippers had success disrupting Towns during the regular season as they won three of four matchups, losing only in January when George was out, and spared no energy attacking the two-time All-Star center from all sides. Nicolas Batum was his main tormentor, but most of the Clippers stepped in.

Towns failed to make a basket in the first half for the first time in more than three years, an 0-for-7 dunk. His only points came on a pair of free throws, and he flashed a wry smile and pumped his first after receiving that call.

Irving and Durant lead the Nets to the playoffs

Kyrie Irving had 34 points and 12 assists, Kevin Durant added 25 points and 11 assists, and the Brooklyn Nets took the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 115-108 in Game 1 on Tuesday night. play in.

The Nets raced out to a 20-point lead after one quarter and pushed the Cavaliers back time and time again to win a matchup with No. 2 seed Boston in a series that begins Sunday.

Irving made his first 12 shots before a 3-pointer went wide in the fourth quarter. He finished 12 out of 15.

An NBA Finals preseason favorite who endured a turbulent season and were in 10th place entering the final week of the regular season, the Nets have posted five straight wins. With Durant and Irving, they are much more dangerous than the usual No. 7 seed.

And both are willing to give the ball to teammates who capitalize on it when they receive it. Bruce Brown had 18 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, while Andre Drummond had 16 points.

Darius Garland scored 34 points for the Cavaliers, who have another shot at the No. 8 seed. They host the winner of the Atlanta-Charlotte game on Friday, with the winner facing No. 1 seed Miami.

Brooklyn and Cleveland went 44-38, but the Nets clinched the tiebreaker by beating the Cavs at Barclays Center last Friday to go 3-1 against them. Cleveland was confident he could come back to Brooklyn and win, though it quickly became clear how tough it would be.

The Nets shot nearly 71 percent in the first quarter (Irving and Durant combined to shoot all eight) and closed out the period with a 15-3 run that made it 40-20. It was a bigger lead than Brooklyn had in any first quarter during the regular season.

The offense floundered, as it often does, when Durant went to the bench to start the second and Cleveland went on a 9-2 run to cut it to 13. The margin hung around the rest of the half, with the Cavs absent. several wide looks before Irving’s jumper at the buzzer made it 57-43. That made him 9-for-9 at halftime.

The Cavaliers, trying to extend an amazing season that saw them double their win total from a season ago, continued to rally in the second half. But too often they missed a wide-open 3-pointer or gave up extra possession on an offensive rebound that the Nets would take advantage of.

Nic Claxton had 13 points and nine rebounds for Brooklyn.


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