Beaten twice in a row in Portland in mid-December, Wolves hosted the Blazers last night. Anthony Edwards (32 points, 7 rebounds) and Rudy Gobert (17 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks) ensured that there would be no pass of three, propelling Minnesota to victory in the last quarter (113-106 ).
From the start of the match, Wolves tried to take to their heels, with a 14-1 driven by Luka Garza. Buoyed by the return of D’Angelo Russell but also Taurean Prince after a long injury absence, Minnesota raced in the lead all game, taking advantage in particular of the small first half of Rip City’s back traction, Damian Lillard – Anfernee Simons (11 points only with two).
If Portland has led at the start of the fourth quarter, the Blazers will suffer the law of the premises, with Edwards who will take control of operations in the final stretch. Dominated in the paint (54 to 38 on points in the racket), the teammates of a Damian Lillard found in the second half will logically bow as Minnesota passed a fatal 11-3 in the last minutes.
In this duel of the Northwest division, the Wolves therefore replace themselves and confirm their renewed form. After their nasty series of six defeats in a row, here they are now on another (small) two successes in a row!
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– An Ant – Ant duel. Between Anthony Edwards and Anfernee Simons, both nicknamed “Ant” (ant), we had a nice duel! The concern is that the back of the Blazers is a reduced format compared to the physical monster of the Wolves. It felt at the end of the match with Edwards who used and abused his direct opponent, pushing him several times to better turn around. With 13 of his 32 points in the last quarter, Anthony Edwards shone in the hot moments: “I’m still ready for the fourth quarter. When we get to the last quarter, I say to myself: it’s showtime now! I’m starting to get used to it now. »
– Blazers with (less) reaction. Without real momentum in recent games, the Blazers started this game without real intention. Quickly trailing in the first quarter, they ran after the score and were certainly able to compete until the end, but in the end, they never seemed able to take control of the match: “I was not happy from the start of the match”confirmed Chauncey Billups. “Our state of mind was not the right one from the start. We are fickle. We did not set the tone, we were not the aggressor on both sides of the field. When we don’t do that, we put ourselves in a bad situation. »
✅ Anthony Edwards. “Franchise player” in power since the injury of Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards perfectly assumed his role last night with 32 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Above all, he was able to raise his level of play to finish strong, with 13 points in the last quarter and a slew of “clutch” shots.
✅ Luka Garza. Author of 11 of his 14 points in the first quarter, he offered a good offensive boost to his team. Not often used, he responded for 14 points and 2 rebounds in the end, all at a perfect 5/5 on shots.
✅ Rudy Gobert. After five outings without much flavor, Rudy Gobert regained his superbness this night against Jusuf Nurkic and Portland. The tricolor pivot ends with a nice double-double, 17 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks.
✅ ⛔ Damian Lillard. Like his team, Damian Lillard blew hot and cold. At 1/6 on shots in the first half, the star leader spent the second on returning from the locker room, with 20 points but that was not enough against the Edwards festival.
⛔ Josh Hart. It doesn’t happen to him often but the “role player” to do everything has gotten in the way. Assigned to the coattails of Anthony Edwards, Josh Hart had the wrong role last night. He was exhausted in defense and did not bring much to the other side of the field: 1 point at 0/4 and 4 assists.
Minnesota (18-21) : reception of the Clippers on Friday.
Portland (19-18): continuation of the “road trip” to Indianapolis on Friday.