Edwards, Timberwolves bounce back to beat short-handed Suns

Jan 13, 2023, 5:38 AM | Updated: 9:00 pm

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (1) dunks during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Anthony Edwards scored 31 points, D’Angelo Russell had 17 and the Minnesota Timberwolves held off the short-handed Phoenix Suns 121-116 on Friday night.

Taurean Prince added 16 points off the bench and fellow reserve Naz Red had 13 points for Minnesota. The Timberwolves won for the fourth time in five games and bounced back from a 135-118 loss in Detroit on Wednesday night.

“The start was perfect, but the finish was bad,” Edwards said. “Everything won’t be perfect, but we could’ve finished a little better, for sure.”

Damion Lee led Phoenix with a career-high 31 points and Mikal Bridges had 24. The Suns were again without stars Chris Paul and Devin Booker, along with Cameron Johnson and backcourt backups Cameron Payne and Landry Shamet.

Deandre Ayton returned after missing two games with a left ankle sprain and had 11 points and 11 rebounds, but the big center struggled against Minnesota’s Rudy Gobert. Ayton shot just 5 of 18 from the field.

The Suns are 6-17, the third-fewest wins in the NBA, since ending November with a 15-6 record. They have been without Booker, their leading scorer for much of that stretch.

“I told the guys we’ve got to keep our spirit in a good place because when it all starts to come together, it can multiply,” Phoenix coach Monty Williams said. “We just got to keep plugging away.”

Edwards scored seven points during a 12-0 run by the Timberwolves in the first quarter that established a 21-9 lead. Minnesota never trailed again, taking the lead out to 24 points against a depleted Suns team that had beaten the Wolves in the previous six meetings.

Minnesota won four straight games between a pair of disappointing losses to the Pistons, who were in last place in the East at the time.

“Feel like that was lacking, our focus, our communication, our overall just energy and effort wasn’t there versus Detroit,” said veteran guard Austin Rivers. “So, we wanted to come in here and play at a high level. We were about to do that for, probably, like 40 minutes of the game. Those last eight minutes, it got a little weird.”

Phoenix closed within six in the final minutes, but Edwards helped Minnesota withstand the late run.

“We’ve had a habit all season of building the lead and kind of hijacking our momentum with bad shots and turnovers that lead to crazy offense for our opponents,” Wolves coach Chris Finch said. “So, tonight was a classic example of that. But, you know, for the most part, I thought we did things well for 80% of the game.”


Saben Lee, a third-year guard on a two-way contract, helped the Suns come back. He scored 12 points and had two assists in the fourth.

“What a tough situation to come into but a privilege at the same time,” Williams said. “He knows about 20% of what we do. The kid plays hard. He gets into the ball. He’s getting to the paint, which is something we haven’t had.”


Suns: Booker has missed 17 of the past 18 games with a left groin strain and only played four minutes in the one game he played. The team is 4-14 in that stretch. … Paul has missed the last four games with right hip soreness. Payne (right foot sprain) has missed the last five games and Shamet (right hip soreness) has missed three in a row. … Johnson, who’s been out since Nov. 4 after knee surgery to repair a meniscus tear, warmed up before the game. … Phoenix had 19 turnovers leading to 17 points.

Timberwolves: Gobert only took one shot, but he finished with four points and 12 rebounds. … Minnesota had 15 turnovers that led to 25 points. … The Wolves scored 64 points in the paint.


Suns: Finish a four-game trip Monday in Memphis.

Timberwolves: Host Cleveland on Saturday night.


More AP NBA coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]
1 month ago
Joe Jarzynka...
Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]
1 month ago
FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...
Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]
1 month ago
Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...
Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]
1 month ago
FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...
Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]
1 month ago
FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...
Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]
1 month ago
Edwards, Timberwolves bounce back to beat short-handed Suns