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Timberwolves have six in double figures in win over Cleveland

The last two weeks have been one long, endless Anthony Edwards show for the Timberwolves.

The guard has scintillated with his scoring and playmaking, largely carrying Minnesota on a night-to-night basis.

But the 22-year-old was held in check Friday against Cleveland. Edwards scored 16 points on just 6-for–17 shooting at Target Center, after he went just 7 for 27 earlier in the month in Cleveland.

Like Minnesota, the Cavaliers are one of the NBA’s top defensive teams.

In recent games, a shut-down Edwards would’ve surely signified a loss for Minnesota. That was not the case Friday.

Everyone around Edwards stepped up in a big way in Minnesota’s 104-91 victory over the Cavaliers. The Wolves had six players score in double figures.

Naz Reid (head) and Rudy Gobert (ribs) both returned from multi-game injury absences. Minnesota’s 48 victories already mark the most the team has compiled since the 2003-04 campaign.

Mike Conley led the Wolves with 21 points. Reid added 18 points. Gobert didn’t get to double digits in scoring but did tally nine points, 15 rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.

“I felt good. I felt good. Gotta embrace the pain sometimes,” said Gobert, whose rib injury is a matter of pain tolerance. “And sometimes the pain of watching hurts more than the pain of the injury itself. But for me, it’s all about playing through that. As long as I can move and I’m able to impact the game, I’m gonna be out there.”

Jaden McDaniels scored 15 points, including a couple of key 3-pointers in the fourth as Cleveland was attempting to work its way back into the contest. Jordan McLaughlin cashed four triples for 12 points and is now shooting 59 percent from deep over his last 19 games. Kyle Anderson added 10 points, six rebounds and five assists.

Minnesota (48-22) shot 49 percent from the floor and 52 percent from 3-point range.

“The ball is really moving. Everybody knows that they’re going to get it. I think they can anticipate when they’re going to get it,” Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said. “I thought we did a good job getting off of it. They were wanting us to play into a crowd, and we only did it a few times early. But, guys are shot-ready, and they’re letting it go.”

It’s offense at its highest form.

“I think it’s promising to see that, no matter who’s coming back into the lineup that they’re kind of following suit and just seeing what we’ve been doing over the last few weeks,” Conley said. “The way we’re playing, the speed that we’re playing with, we’re getting more transition opportunities, we’re getting more throw-aheads, and everybody’s just kind of diving into that. If we can continue that trend, I think the game will just be a lot easier for us on the offensive end.”

Which will help that end match the team’s performance on the other end.

Cleveland (43-27) was missing three starters: Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley and Max Strus. That left the game on the shoulders of Darius Garland. The Wolves put the clamps on him, holding the guard to 19 points on 8-for-21 shooting.

Cleveland shot just 42 percent, including an abysmal 7 for 29 from deep. Minnesota was physical on the glass, as well. Even on a poor shooting night, Edwards tied his career high with 13 rebounds.

“The ball was moving offensively,” Gobert said. “And defensively, I thought everyone put in the effort and the communication was great and we got better throughout the game, which I think wore them down throughout the course of the game.”

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