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Wolves 124, Nuggets 107: Ant Highlights Wolves Record Night

Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards set a number of new records in a wire-to-wire victory in Denver.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Denver Nuggets Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

Game Story

So I guess that G.L.E. (Greatest Lineup Ever), as dubbed by NBA.com’s John Schuhmann, is really going to stick, huh?

As our Kyle Theige pointed out in his game preview, the Wolves entered tonight’s late tip with a 12-game losing streak against the Denver Nuggets which dated back to the “play-in” game 82 of 2018. Meanwhile, after Stephen Curry set the all-time record for three pointers made in NBA history yesterday, social media was engaging in their annual tradition of ripping the Timberwolves David Kahn for the 2009 draft.

Who would’ve thought the Wolves would go on to set multiple records tonight? Let me just go ahead and review some of them:

  1. Karl-Anthony Towns breaks the 10,000 point scoring mark, becoming the 5th fastest player in NBA history to do so, and the 2nd player in Timberwolves history to ever achieve that (Kevin Garnett).
  2. Anthony Edwards becomes the youngest player in NBA history to score 10 three pointers in a single game, surpassing Kyrie Irving (22 y/o). This also becomes the franchise record for most three pointers made in a single game, surpassing Kevin Love and Stephon Marbury (8).
  3. Anthony Edwards moves into second place for the most three pointers made in their first 100 games (258), surpassing Luka Dončić.
  4. Anthony Edwards becomes the 7th player to score 2,000 points in his first 100 games at age 20. He also becomes youngest player in franchise history to hit that mark (Andrew Wiggins).
  5. Timberwolves set a new franchise record for three pointers made in a half (16).

If foreshadowing was a thing in the NBA, then it was absolutely in effect tonight. KAT would get double-teamed early so he found Patrick Beverley wide open for a three pointer which he cashed in. Pat Bev would go on to make THREE triples in just the first 4 minutes of the game. It didn’t take long for the rest of the roster to join the party, splashing in trey after trey, building up a quick 31-15 lead. Although Nikola Jokić, who casually tallied an efficient triple-double, would dominate for the majority of his early minutes on the court, he only had help in the form of some guy named Markus Howard, who was clearly Steph Curry undercover (11 points in a 5 minute stretch).

Speaking of foreshadowing, Ant was looking spry to start the game, scoring a game high 11 points in the first quarter. He would sub back into the game in the 2nd and immediately hit 2 more threes. Not enough? When the Nuggets were clawing their way back midway in the 4th quarter, Ant appeared to have stamped out Denver’s comeback attempt with a signature passing lane steal. As he casually glided to gentle dunk, the real Slovenian sensation, Vlatko Cančar, chased him down like LeBron James. Cančar would immediately get rewarded on the other end with 2 free throws to help bring the Nuggets within 12, slicing a once 23-point lead in half.

At this point, on behalf of Canis Hoopus, I must apologize to the city of Denver for the onslaught that ensued.

Like the Incredible Hulk, making Ant mad was the worst thing they could’ve done. Edwards would go on a torrid 2-minute stretch where he’d score 11 points in a row that included three pointers on back-to-back-to-back possessions, each more impressive than the last. He nearly single-handedly doubled the lead that the Wolves had lost after starting the 4th quarter 0/11 as a team.

The season-high 23 three pointers made, including a franchise record 16 in the first half, was way too much for the ailing Nuggets to overcome tonight. Pat Bev and Jarred Vanderbilt continued to be an energizing duo of irritants that opponents despise. KAT and Ant set records on their way to a combined 70 points on just 39 field goal attempts. D’Angelo Russell was a steady captain who astutely picked his spots, nearly notching a triple-double himself. You take one look at the final box score numbers and I ask you this:

Is this truly the “Greatest Lineup Ever”?

Game Highlights

Pack Leaders

Omega - D’Angelo Russell
As mentioned earlier, this was the version of D’Lo we needed tonight. After bailing the Wolves out in Portland just a few days ago with clutch scoring, tonight he consciously took a backseat to KAT and Ant. His 16 point, 8 rebound, and 7 assist night only came on 12 field goal attempts with just 2 turnovers. Russell didn’t force himself into the game and hit a few mid-rangers to keep the offense afloat at times. His renaissance of a season continues!

Delta - Jarred Vanderbilt
I truly believe that Vando is the perfect utility guy for this team. The comparisons to Dennis Rodman are hilariously accurate, but he truly does plug the holes (SMUT) that this team needs. Defense, rebounding, hustle, and of course, 3-point making (Hasn’t missed a 3 since 9 days ago). His final stat line (against the team that drafted him) may just show 6 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal, but the type of extra effort play below does more than just accrue “+1 OREB,” as they are ones that are momentum changers. Keep in mind, he came crashing down on his tailbone this game much like KAT did (and Naz later in the game), but somehow continued to finish the game like he was Wolverine.

Beta - Karl-Anthony Towns
Calm Karl may need to become a thing. He usually amps it up to 11 against Jokić and sometimes in all the wrong ways, perhaps turning it into a personal battle against the reigning MVP. Tonight, he kept his head screwed on straight and was cool under pressure, efficiently notching 32 points (12/18 FG), 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block. Towns’ record night was even more special because it came in a win.

Alpha - Anthony Edwards
He’s da one one, Jack! What more can you say about this young king? 38 points (10/14 3P), 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 block. Ant was truly special tonight and snatched control of the game when the Wolves most needed it. His scoring explosion tonight was reminiscent of the types of shooting nights we’ve seen from Zach LaVine. His emotion and confidence on the floor oozes of Kevin Garnett. His youthful energy reminds me of rookie-contract Ricky Rubio. However, his magnetism on and off the court is one that cannot be compared or rivaled.

What’s Next

After defeating the 8th place Nuggets, the Wolves next 2 games will be against the 7th and 6th place teams in the West. It begins with one that the NBA decided to push the tip-off back in order to nationally televise. That one guy who’s also a part of Ant’s agency, Klutch Sports, will be leading the Los Angeles Lakers to Target Center on Friday, 12/17 @ 9pm CT. That’s right, 9:00 p.m. Will you be staying up to watch this massacre?