ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Timberwolves get back on track by topping short-handed Suns

Minnesota has now won 5 of its last 6 games

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (1) looks to shoot while Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) defends on Jan. 13, 2023, at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (1) looks to shoot while Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) defends on Jan. 13, 2023, at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Matt Krohn / USA Today Sports
We are part of The Trust Project.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Timberwolves did something Friday they’ve struggled to do all season — taking it to a clearly lesser opponent.

Minnesota downed a severely shorthanded Phoenix 121-116 at Target Center, bouncing back from a disappointing loss in Detroit.

That Detroit loss was the latest in a series of subpar performances against teams the Timberwolves are expected to handle. It’s an issue that has plagued Minnesota all season.

MORE MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES COVERAGE:
Pro
Kyle Anderson stepped up again to provide a veteran presence, keeping the Grizzlies from mounting a comeback
Pro
A strong month of January has pushed Minnesota back toward the middle of the Wester Conference race
Pro
New Orleans has now lost six straight games.
Pro
Minnesota’s next four games — starting Wednesday in New Orleans — are against the current top four seeds in the West.
Pro
The victory snapped Houston’s 13-game losing streak. Seven of those defeats had come by 15-plus points.
Pro
Anthony Edwards and Nate Knight provided the necessary jolt for Minnesota to escape with a 113-104 victory.
Pro
More than halfway through the season, that impact is beaming through
Pro
The Wolves trailed by 14 points midway through the fourth quarter before D’Angelo Russell brought the team all the way back.
Pro
After a slow start Monday, the guard scored 25 points in the second half.
Pro
Center scores 20 points and grabs 21 rebounds in Utah’s 126-125 win.

That’s what made Friday’s contest potentially troublesome. Phoenix has been a prominent power in the West for years, but this current version has been battered by injuries. Phoenix is missing Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Cameron Johnson, Cameron Payne and Landry Shamet. Those injuries have played a large role in the Suns (21-23) dropping 11 of their last 13 games after a 19-12 start to the campaign.

It also makes them an easy opponent to overlook. But Minnesota did not do that Friday. The Timberwolves brought a strong energy from the get-go, jumping out to a 12-point lead in the game’s first six minutes. They never really looked back from there, as Minnesota maintained a comfortable margin for the contest’s duration.

ADVERTISEMENT

Minnesota’s only true lackluster stretch of play came in the fourth, in which it seemed to lose focus and and lost much of its vigor. That allowed Phoenix to trim its deficit to single digits late. But an Anthony Edwards dunk with 90 seconds to play put the Wolves back up 11 and essentially served as the dagger.

Edwards finished with 31 points and six rebounds.

Minnesota (21-22) has now won five of its last six games.

Phoenix went 14 for 23 from 3-point range — traditionally a recipe for a potential upset. But that hot shooting was undone by the Suns’ struggles from the interior. Phoenix went just 27 for 63 from inside the arc, lowlighted by a 5 for 18 performance from center DeAndre Ayton, who tried and failed to go at Rudy Gobert throughout the evening.

The Suns simply didn’t have enough oomph to contend, and Minnesota was able to do enough to take advantage.

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jaylen Nowell (4) shoots while Phoenix Suns center Jock Landale (11) defends on Jan. 13, 2023, at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jaylen Nowell (4) shoots while Phoenix Suns center Jock Landale (11) defends on Jan. 13, 2023, at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Matt Krohn / USA Today Sports

______________________________________________________

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
What To Read Next
Pro
Former catcher and 2009 AL MVP is the 38th member of the team’s hall
Pro
Matt Boldy scored a pair of goals, Marc-Andre Fleury chipped in with 28 saves, and Mats Zuccarello scored the game-winner in overtime
Pro
Evason: 'He’s going to be accountable for his actions in the last game'
The former NDSU offensive lineman has started every game for the Bengals, who are one victory away from the Super Bowl.