Sports

Timberwolves stun Grizzlies to win Game 1 with 130-117 win

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Anthony Edwards scored 36 points in his playoff debut, and the seventh-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves upset the No. 2 seed Memphis Grizzlies 130-117 on Saturday to take home field advantage when opening their first game. – Western Conference Round Series.

Karl-Anthony Towns added 29 and 13 rebounds. Malik Beasley had 23 points and Jaden McDaniels 15. Patrick Beverley and D’Angelo Russell had 10 each.

The Timberwolves, who just beat the Los Angeles Clippers in the playoff, won their first playoff opener since 2004. That’s when they beat Sacramento in the first round en route to the Finals of the Western Conference.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Memphis.

Ja Morant led Memphis with 32 points and eight assists, and Dillon Brooks added 24 points. Brandon Clarke had 13 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. Desmond Bane scored 17 points and Jaren Jackson Jr. had 12.

Memphis tied the franchise record by winning 56 games in the regular season and securing its all-time highest seed. The Grizzlies had a packed FedExForum for just their third Game 1 in Memphis. But they struggled early after a week off and only led twice, the last one midway through the second quarter.

In this showdown of the NBA’s best offense and two of the league’s youngest teams this season, the Timberwolves set franchise records for points in the first quarter and in the game. They also thwarted Memphis with their 3-point shooting, rebounds and defense.

The Timberwolves looked like a team that played Tuesday night and needed a win to clinch their standings. They started with a 9-2 run and led until 13 before a 41-33 lead for the franchise’s highest first quarter in the playoffs.

Minnesota led 65-62 at halftime, then edged Memphis 32-30 in the third for a 97-92 lead going into the fourth quarter.

TIPS

Timberwolves: They surpassed the 121 points scored on April 21, 2018 against Houston in the only game they won in this series. Their first quarter topped 32 points scored on May 23, 2004 in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals. … Towns had his 43rd double-double of the season. … Russell had five assists in the third quarter. But he was 2 of 11 to shoot for eight points after scoring 37 in his last game against Memphis in February.

Grizzlies: Jackson set a playoff record with seven blocks in the first three quarters. That topped Marc Gasol’s six blocks on May 13, 2013 against Oklahoma City. … Clarke had his fifth double-double of the season. … Jackson and Steven Adams combined seven rebounds.

ANOTHER DEMONSTRATOR

A woman chained herself to the basket post and stopped play with 4:44 left in the second quarter. The woman wore a blue shirt, making it clear that she was part of the animal rights group protesting the factory farms of a Minnesota co-owner, the same situation as the woman who stuck to the ground during the Timberwolves playoff earlier this week.

The woman, who was not from the Memphis area, had a chain attached and attached herself to the back of the basket closets at the Timberwolves bench. She was taken to the back and removed from the arena after security personnel removed the chain around her neck.

NEXT

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Memphis.

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