Anthony Edwards scored 30 points, D’Angelo Russell added 29 points and the Minnesota Timberwolves will make the playoffs for only the second time in the past 18 seasons after claiming a 109-104 win over the Los Angeles Clippers during Play-Ins. round on Tuesday evening.
Malik Beasley scored 12 points and former Clippers guard Patrick Beverley grabbed 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who will face the second-seeded Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Game 1 will take place in Memphis on Saturday.
Karl-Anthony Towns had just 11 points on 3-of-11 shooting in 24 minutes before committing a foul for Minnesota, which overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit.
Paul George scored six 3-pointers and recorded 34 points for the Clippers, who will have one more chance of making the playoffs when they host the New Orleans Pelicans or San Antonio Spurs on Friday.
Reggie Jackson scored 17 points, Norman Powell added 16 and Marcus Morris Sr. had 12 for Los Angeles.
Minnesota shot 43.4 percent from the field, including 14 of 35 (40 percent) from 3-pointers. The Clippers hit 43.6% of their shots and were 16 of 35 (45.7%) from behind the arc.
Nicolas Batum hit a 3-pointer with 3:09 left to pull Los Angeles 99-98, but Edwards answered with a 3-pointer and Russell added a jumper as the Timberwolves took a 104-98 lead with 1: 56 to go. George drained a 3-pointer to cut the Clippers’ deficit to three with 1:24 remaining.
Edwards hit two free throws with 38.5 seconds left and Minnesota closed.
George scored 17 points in the third quarter as the Clippers turned a two-point halftime deficit into an 84-78 advantage.
- Points: Paul George – 34
- Rebounds: Ivica Zubac – 9
- Assists: Paul George, Reggie Jackson – 5
- Points: Anthony Edwards – 30
- Rebounds: Patrick Beverley – 11
- Assists: D’Angelo Russell – 6
Towns picked up his fifth foul with 3:47 left in the third, and Los Angeles took advantage of his absence, increasing their lead to nine on two free throws from George with 6.4 seconds left.
However, Beasley swept in a 3-point corner as time expired as Minnesota cut the Clippers’ lead to six entering the final stanza.
Four straight points in Los Angeles prompted Minnesota coach Chris Finch to put Towns back in the game with 9:27 remaining and the Timberwolves to seven points.
Jackson connected on a 3-pointer 33 seconds later as the Clippers took a 10-point lead at 93-83.
Towns scored the next three points of the game to start a 16-2 flurry, but he didn’t even last two minutes before committing a foul with 7:34 left in the game.
Nearly three minutes later, Russell knocked down a 3-pointer to give the Timberwolves a 97-95 advantage. Edwards followed with a ferocious dunk with 4:02 to go to cap the push.
The Timberwolves led 53-51 at halftime as Towns missed all seven field goal attempts and scored just two points.