Target Center is where undefeated records go to die.
Five days after handing Denver its first loss, the Timberwolves did the same to Boston, downing the Celtics 114-109 in an overtime thriller that very much had a playoff feel.
The game was billed as a matchup featuring the league’s top offense — Boston — against Minnesota’s top-ranked defense. It’s difficult to chalk that mini-duel up as anything other than a win for the Wolves’ defense. The Celtics struggled to generate anything that could be classified as a good look in the half-court set.
Anthony Edwards and Jayson Tatum traded blows in the second half, with the two top-tier offensive wings each demonstrating their abilities to hit tough shots on command. Tatum finished with 32 points, while Edwards had 38 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. But, importantly for Edwards, even on a night where he had his offense rolling, he made a number of wise decisions with the ball down the stretch.
The guard repeatedly used his gravity to generate open looks for opponents, with Jaden McDaniels serving as the beneficiary on a couple open triples and Rudy Gobert getting an easy bucket down low in the fourth quarter.
Then, in overtime, Edwards smelled blood. He scored on three straight possessions — two mid-range jumpers and a turnaround 8-footer — to put Minnesota up seven and essentially seal the contest.
Those are the moments Edwards seemingly always rises to, but just as important were the smart passes. That’s the mix the 22-year-old has to consistently achieve if he’s to lift Minnesota to championship contention.