Edwards scores 34 as Wolves beat Spurs 114-105 without Towns

Anthony Edwards
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards dunks during the second half of a game against the San Antonio Spurs, Tuesday in Minneapolis.
Abbie Parr | AP

Anthony Edwards scored 34 points, returning from an injury scare right before halftime, and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the San Antonio Spurs 114-105 on Tuesday night without All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns.

Towns missed the game due to personal reasons. Earlier in the day, Towns memorialized a high school teammate on Instagram. Minnesota coach Chris Finch said before the game that he hoped Towns would only miss one game.

Rudy Gobert, back after missing a game with a left ankle sprain, added 13 points and 17 rebounds for the Timberwolves in his latest matchup with fellow French countryman Victor Wembanyama.

“As soon as they put the ball on the deck, whether it was Wembanyama or anyone else, we kind of went after it, swarmed it a bit,” Finch said. “It shows our activity. We’ve talked a lot recently about getting more 50-50 balls. We did a good job with that tonight.”

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Wembanyama had 17 points and 13 rebounds as San Antonio lost its fifth in a row and 12 of its past 13 games. Wembanyama scored eight points in just over five minutes to open the game but didn’t score again until a 3 with 2:55 left in the third quarter.

Naz Reid added 22 points off the bench for Minnesota, which has won six of seven and started the day tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder atop the Western Conference at 40-17.

Edwards appeared to injure his left ankle before halftime, staying on the ground for several minutes before he was helped off with assistance from team athletic trainers. But Edwards came out after halftime as an anxious crowd cheered him taking shots before the second half.

Edwards hit a wide-open 3-pointer to provide an 83-61 lead near the end of the third quarter to bring the crowd out of its seats, and then stole the ball at half-court and finished with a windmill dunk to show the injury was no bother to the star guard.

“It was bothering me a little bit, but once you get out there and the adrenaline rush, it goes away,” Edwards said, adding that he'll be ready for the second game Friday of Minnesota's back-to-back set.

With Wembanyama scoring, San Antonio used an 8-0 run to take an early lead, but Minnesota followed with its own 12-1 run — with six points from Edwards — to take control. The Wolves eventually led by as many as 24.

Devin Vassell added 21 points and Keldon Johnson had 20 for San Antonio, which did close within six with 33.6 seconds left. The Spurs committed 23 turnovers, leading to 30 points for the Timberwolves.

“Thirty points off turnovers, that’s the bottom line," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "Every time we’ve done that this year, we’ve gotten our butts kicked. So, that happened again tonight. Everything else is pretty irrelevant. Last game, we gave up 34 points off turnovers. So, that’s the deal.”

Minnesota forward Kyle Anderson left the game in the third with left hamstring tightness and didn't return.

“Yeah, you could see the energy drop; the purpose and intensity drop," Finch said of the end of the game. "Down on numbers, guys are tired or whatever, but I just told them, ‘We got to be better at closing that game out.’”

Up next

Spurs: Return home against Oklahoma City on Thursday.

Timberwolves: Host Memphis on Wednesday.