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Timberwolves look to recover at home versus Thunder


© Reuters. NBA: Portland Trail Blazers in the Minnesota Timberwolves

Anthony Edwards ‘in-game progress has been evident in four of the Minnesota Timberwolves’ last four games.

In the first three games, Edwards’s attacking fire made it all the more, as he averaged 35 points per game and shot 49.4 percent from the floor, playing nearly 40 minutes per game.

In Minnesota’s most recent game, Friday’s defeat to Phoenix, it showed how the Suns protected Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns.

At times, Phoenix kept both defenders and Edwards on the move, making it harder for Edwards as he ended up with just 11 points in 4/18 shots.

Entering Monday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Minneapolis, Edwards is looking to tweak how teams tuned so that he became the overall No. 1 pick in last year’s NBA Draft. He has progressed from a substitute that started the season into one that started in late January and is currently one of the focal points in Minnesota’s crime.

“It’s respectful and it’s a lesson,” Edwards said after Friday’s defeat. “I learned something. I can watch this game and see what other teams can think is the right way to protect me.

After losing their first five games since Ryan Saunders was sacked and Chris Finch brought in instead, the Timberwolves are leading 3-3 since the All-Star break.

While Edwards has committed the Minnesota offense recently, Thunder has been energetically energized by Luguentz Dort.

Dort went on to excel again on Sunday in Oklahoma City’s 114-112 win over Houston, stopping John Wall’s sacking attempt in the final seconds.

“I can’t say enough about his defense,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said of Dort. “Looks like you can ignore it for the moment. He’s just out there and has a great defensive performance.”

Thunder’s starting line-up in Sunday’s win was, according to Thunder, the second youngest squad in NBA history.

While 21-year-old Dort, who was put on the train as an untrained freelance before last season, is not Oklahoma City’s oldest starter, he’s the most experienced, playing in his 75th NBA match.

Oklahoma City are expected to be at least a bit more veteran in the squad on Monday, with Al Horford expected to play after sidelined their first match back to take a break.

Daigneault will not say whether Thunder’s top striker Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who was sidelined on Sunday with a pain in his right shoulder, will return to Minnesota, but Gilgeous-Alexander’s illness is not “lasting at all. It’s just maintenance and caution. “

Darius Bazley, George Hill and Josh Hall are still in Oklahoma City.

Monday’s match is the third and final encounter between the Timberwolves and Thunder this season and the first in Minneapolis.

The teams split during their match-up days in Oklahoma City in early February, with the Timberwolves winning their first match 106-103 and Thunder winning their second match 120-118.

Minnesota’s victory was decided with 3 points from D’Angelo Russell with 3 seconds remaining.

Russell has been out of action since Feb. 8, though recently returned to work on the pitch after undergoing laparoscopic surgery.

Minnesota is also still without backup point guard Jordan McLaughlin, who missed six games due to the tournament’s health and safety protocols, and Malik Beasley, who qualified again after Thursday’s suspension. Seven.

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