Anthony Edwards scored 11 of his 24 points in the final eight minutes, leading a fierce rally of the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 102-101 win over former manager Tom Thibodeau and the New York Knicks on Wednesday night.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 18 points and 17 rebounds, and Malik Beasley highlighted his 20 points with the go-ahead from 3 points with 37 seconds left for the Timberwolves, who overtook the Knicks 22-9 in the final 7:50. .
Julius Randle had 26 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for the Knicks, who were up 18 points in the second quarter. RJ Barrett scored 23 points, but his buzzer stepback jumper was short for a chance to win.
Edwards has a lot of room to grow, particularly on the defensive, but he had three blocks and three steals. He triggered the rally with a bad pass from Elfrid Payton, turning into a fast break layup and three-point play after a Barrett foul to cut the lead to 92-85. Edwards went to the basket, which coach Chris Finch prefers to do with draft pick no. 1, for the tied layup at 99-all with 1:16 left. Taj Gibson’s putback gave the Knicks the lead again, before Beasley got it back.
The Timberwolves first faced Thibodeau in New York on February 21, when manager Ryan Saunders – his successor – was sacked after a 103-99 defeat to the Knicks and replaced by Finch.
The team with the worst record in the NBA had a respectable performance awaiting Thibodeau, although only Towns and Josh Okogie remain on the roster he had when he was fired on January 6, 2019. The Knicks have the same amount of players as that team. with Gibson and Derrick Rose.
The Knicks, once defeated, rank fourth in the league in the defensive standings this season under Thibodeau, up from 23 in 2019-20. Wolves are 27 °.
One player who would have suited Thibodeau well is Jaden McDaniels, the rookie who recently opened the starting line-up and got the honor of defending All-Star Randle for most of the night. McDaniels had 18 points and five rebounds.