NBA

'I couldn't walk on it' - Timberwolves franchise player Anthony Edwards suffers ankle injury

By Sports Desk March 18, 2023

The Minnesota Timberwolves are anxiously awaiting an injury update on star player Anthony Edwards after the former Rookie of the Year had to be carried off the court on Friday.

Edwards, who is averaging 25.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game in his third season, had eight points in eight minutes before going down with an ankle injury early in a 139-131 double-overtime loss to the Chicago Bulls.

The former number one draft pick is living up to the hype on the offensive end, but he has also shown terrific instincts on the other side of the ball, currently tied with Tyrese Haliburton for the fifth-most steals per game (1.6).

Minnesota had been expected to spiral after Karl-Anthony Towns went down with a long-term injury in November, but Edwards had kept them afloat, currently sitting eighth in the West at 35-36.

But while they are just one game behind the six seed, they are also only one game in front of the Utah Jazz in 11th, and any Edwards absence with just 11 games remaining could decide the franchise's playoff fate.

Speaking immediately after the loss, Edwards said he knew straight away that his night was over.

"I couldn't walk on it, so I knew it was a wrap," he said. "See how it feels tomorrow."

Head coach Chris Finch did not have an update on his status, and lamented the crushing nature of the loss after leading in the final stages of regulation.

"It's a devastating loss," he said "We've got to win that game, you know?

"Up two with 26 seconds left, with the ball. No reason to do anything, other than just make them come get us, and we just throw it out of bounds. We couldn't get a shot off in some key moments, too.

"We battled, and battled. We changed defenses all night long, we played our butt off, and we got a chance to win the game – and you've got to win that game."

When asked about how they will move forward without their two top offensive options, Finch said it can not be used as an excuse.

"Nobody cares," he said. "We've got to keep fighting. We've got a heck of a game tomorrow [away against the Toronto Raptors], and nobody cares what's happened to the Timberwolves.

"We'll figure it out, we'll lace it up tomorrow and we'll fight – I know that. We still have other players who can put the ball in the bucket.

"Obviously, you lose Ant's dynamic big-shot making – of course you lose everything he brings – but we're going to have to rely more on ball movement, body movement, pass-pass combinations, those kinds of things.

"I thought we did a really good job in that three-man game with Kyle [Anderson], Mike [Conley} and Rudy [Gobert]… we have things we can go to, we just have to sift through it and figure it out."

Wolves center Rudy Gobert shared the sentiment that the team cannot feel sorry for themselves.

"We know that no one's going to help us," he said. "We're all we got. 

"So we've just got to go out there, keep putting in the work, keep enjoying it and just learn from this situation. Win a game when we're in position to win a game."

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  • Edwards credits Towns as bounce-back performance keeps Timberwolves alive Edwards credits Towns as bounce-back performance keeps Timberwolves alive

    Anthony Edwards credited Karl-Anthony Towns after he halted his slump to keep the Minnesota Timberwolves alive in their Western Conference finals series against the Dallas Mavericks.

    Towns scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half as Minnesota held off a late Dallas rally for a 105-100 road win, forcing a Game 5 in Minneapolis on Thursday.

    That came after a difficult start to the series for the four-time All-Star, with coach Chris Finch saying it was "hard to watch" his struggles in Game 3.

    Towns shot just 27.8 per cent in the series' first three games, but was 9 of 13 from the floor and made 4 of 5 from 3-point range on Tuesday.

    Edwards, who narrowly missed out on a triple-double with 29 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, said Towns was the primary reason the Timberwolves retained hope of an NBA Finals berth. 

    "Everything came together for him; he was super confident," Edwards said of Towns. 

    "He played exceptionally well, and he came through big-time. He was the reason we won tonight."

    Finch echoed Edwards' praise, saying: "KAT's a great player. His struggles were not going to last forever. He got himself going. 

    "Even when he got deep in foul trouble, we left him out there, just let him roll, and he played smart, played under control, rebounded really well for us, executed defensively. We're really proud of him. Tonight was a great step for him."

    While it was Towns' efforts that gave Minnesota a lead to defend, it was Edwards who made certain of the victory with a mid-range jumper after the Mavs pulled within three points just over a minute before the buzzer. 

    Towns, who fouled out with one minute and 38 seconds on the clock, said of his team-mate's game-sealing shot: "I was on the bench and had a front-row seat. I feel like he was visualising that make and he got to exactly the spot he wanted to.

    "I'm honoured to be playing with my brother here, seeing him every day put the work in, and I knew when he got to that shot it was a high likelihood he was going to make that."

  • NBA: Timberwolves hold off Mavericks to force Game 5 NBA: Timberwolves hold off Mavericks to force Game 5

    Anthony Edwards just missed a triple-double, Karl-Anthony Towns scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half and the Minnesota Timberwolves held on to beat the Dallas Mavericks 105-100 on Tuesday to avoid being swept in the Western Conference finals.

    Facing a 3-0 series deficit on the road, the Wolves conjured their best defensive game of the series to force a Game 5 on Thursday night in Minneapolis.

    Dallas' Luka Doncic finished with 28 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists but was held to 7-for-21 shooting. Kyrie Irving shot 6 of 18 from the field to finish with 16 points.

    "That game's on me. Just didn't give enough energy," Doncic told reporters after the game. "They won one game. We've just got to focus on the next one."

    Towns, who shot 27.8 per cent in the series' first three games, was 9 of 13 from the floor and made 4 of 5 from 3-point range. Despite his redemptive performance on offense, Towns fouled out with 1:38 remaining after falling for a Doncic pump fake at the 3-point line.

    Edwards was assertive from the opening tip, scoring 14 points in the first quarter, and finished with 29 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

    The Mavs pulled to within 100-97 with just over a minute remaining before Edwards hit a mid-range jumper to extend the Minnesota lead. On Dallas' following possession, Kyle Anderson stole the ball from Irving to extinguish the threat.

    The Mavericks played without standout rookie center Dereck Lively II due to a neck sprain after taking a rough fall in Game 3.

    No team has ever come back from a 3-0 series lead, but the Wolves will hope to keep the pressure on Dallas in Game 5.

     

  • Timberwolves hold off Mavericks to force Game 5 Timberwolves hold off Mavericks to force Game 5

    Anthony Edwards just missed a triple-double, Karl-Anthony Towns scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half and the Minnesota Timberwolves held on to beat the Dallas Mavericks 105-100 on Tuesday to avoid being swept in the Western Conference finals.

    Facing a 3-0 series deficit on the road, the Wolves conjured their best defensive game of the series to force a Game 5 on Thursday night in Minneapolis.

    Dallas’ Luka Dončić finished with 28 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists but was held to 7-for-21 shooting. Kyrie Irving shot 6 of 18 from the field to finish with 16 points.

    “That game's on me. Just didn't give enough energy,” Dončić told reporters after the game. “They won one game. We've just got to focus on the next one.”

    Towns, who shot 27.8 percent in the series’ first three games, was 9 of 13 from the floor and made 4 of 5 from 3-point range. Despite his redemptive performance on offence, Towns fouled out with 1:38 remaining after falling for a Dončić pump fake at the 3-point line.

    Edwards was assertive from the opening tip, scoring 14 points in the first quarter, and finished with 29 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

    The Mavs pulled to within 100-97 with just over a minute remaining before Edwards hit a mid-range jumper to extend the Minnesota lead. On Dallas’ following possession, Kyle Anderson stole the ball from Irving to extinguish the threat.

    The Mavericks played without standout rookie center Dereck Lively II due to a neck sprain after taking a rough fall in Game 3.

    No team has ever come back from a 3-0 series lead, but the Wolves will hope to keep the pressure on Dallas in Game 5.

     

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