NBA

Edwards scores 40 as Timberwolves complete sweep of Suns

By Sports Desk April 29, 2024

For the first time in two decades, the Minnesota Timberwolves have won a play-off series.

The Timberwolves are the NBA's first team to advance to the conference semi-finals after defeating the Phoenix Suns 122-116 on Sunday to complete a first-round sweep.

Minnesota reached the Western Conference second round for the first time since 2004 by recording the first play-off sweep in franchise history.

Anthony Edwards led the way with 40 points, and had a thunderous dunk with just over 2 minutes remaining to help kick start the Timberwolves' celebration.

 

Edwards had a quiet first half before erupting after half-time, scoring 31 points in the final two quarters. He hit four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and had 16 points in the final period to help third-seeded Minnesota pull away.

He finished with seven 3-pointers, and also added nine rebounds and six assists, while Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 points and 10 boards.

The Timberwolves played the final 1:41 without their coach after Mike Conley collided with Chris Finch on the sidelines.

Finch went down hard appearing to injure his right knee and had to be helped to the locker room.

Minnesota, which will face the winner of the Denver Nuggets-Los Angeles Lakers series, prevailed despite a 49-point performance from Devin Booker.

Booker was 13 of 21 from the field and made 20 of 21 free throws, while Kevin Durant added 33 points on 12-of-17 shooting.

The rest of the Suns combined for 34 points on 36.1 per cent shooting, as Phoenix suffered its first play-off sweep since 1999.

 

Brunson's historic performance leads Knicks over 76ers

Jalen Brunson is in the record books and the New York Knicks are one win away from a trip to the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

Brunson scored a play-off career-high 47 points - the most ever by a Knicks player in a post-season game - in a 97-92 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Brunson made two free throws with 5 seconds remaining to seal the win and surpass the franchise record of 46 points scored by Bernard King in 1984.

With the victory in Philadelphia, the second-seeded Knicks grabbed a 3-1 lead in the first-round series.

New York has the opportunity to eliminate the 76ers in Game 5 back home at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.

 

Brunson, who added a game-high 10 assists, struggled with his shot in the first two games of the series in New York, but found his touch in Philadelphia.

After totaling 46 points on 29.1 per cent shooting in Games 1 and 2, Brunson had 39 points on Thursday, followed by the record-setting performance in Game 4 while shooting 50.8 per cent.

OG Anunoby added 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Knicks, while Josh Hart played a big role despite missing all seven of his field goal attempts by grabbing 17 rebounds.

Joel Embiid led the 76ers with 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, while Tyrese Maxey scored 23.

Philadelphia was undone by its struggles from long range, shooting 27.3 percent on 3-pointers (9 of 33) after making 48.4 per cent of its shots from beyond the arc in its Game 3 win.

 

Clippers hang on after blowing lead of 31 to even up series with Mavericks

The Los Angeles Clippers emerged with a 116-111 victory over the Mavericks in Dallas to even up their first-round series at 2-2.

The fourth-seeded Clippers looked like they would roll to an easy win, as they led by 31 points midway through the second quarter, but the Mavericks came storming back to set up a thrilling final few minutes.

After Kyrie Irving hit an off-balanced layup with 2:15 remaining to put Dallas ahead 105-104 - the Mavs' first lead since it was 8-7 less than 5 minutes into the game - Paul George responded with an incredible fadeaway 3-pointer from the corner and James Harden followed with a driving floating jump shot to put Los Angeles back up by four points.

George and Harden each finished with 33 points, and scored all of the Clippers' final 18 points in the last 5 minutes of the fourth quarter.

Irving had 40 points on 14-of-25 shooting and Luka Doncic had 29 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in his fourth career play-off triple-double, but was clearly bothered by a sore right knee and misfired on 8 of 9 3-point attempts.

 

Before the game, the Clippers announced Kawhi Leonard is out indefinitely due to right knee inflammation.

With the Game 4 win, however, Los Angeles improved to 2-0 in this series in games without the two-time NBA Finals MVP.

In this series, each team has won once on its opponent's court. Game 5 is Wednesday in Los Angeles.

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