Anthony Edwards block, KAT dunk spark Timberwolves Game 1 win at Denver

The Minnesota Timberwolves started the Western Conference Semifinals at the Denver Nuggets Saturday night, and their two best players gave a spark with one third quarter play in a 106-99 win.

Anthony Edwards blocked a Michael Porter Jr. shot at the rim with his left hand. Jaden McDaniels fed Karl-Anthony Towns, who ran the rim for a dunk and got fouled. Edwards kept the Timberwolves in it in the first half, scoring 25 of Minnesota’s 40 points. The Timberwolves have been the best defensive team in the NBA this season, led by Rudy Gobert and those types of plays by Edwards.

"It’s not just about me personally, it’s about my team. They give me confidence. In the third quarter I didn’t do anything, I was just out there running up and down. Mike and KAT came up big for us, so that gave me confidence to try to find myself," Edwards said.

Later in the third quarter, Edwards got called for a technical foul after staring down Reggie Jackson after beating him for a lay-up. The TV broadcasting crew was not impressed with the call.

"No way, no way. No Courtney, I’m sorry. We’re in the second round of the playoffs, emotions are always going to be high. That’s just a look. Come on, that’s a bad technical," Reggie Miller said.

Charles Barkley gave his reaction on the TNT post game show.

"Hey, Mr. Official. Nobody came to see your ass play. Stop giving taunting technicals in the game. Nobody came to see you. You give a kid a warning. You don't call no taunting technicals in the Playoffs. Don't do that," Barkley said.

Edwards finished with 43 points, a new playoff career-high. Towns had 20 points and Naz Reid had 14 of his 16 points in the second half points, including 10 straight in the fourth quarter, as the Timberwolves took a 1-0 lead in the series. Minnesota started with an 18-4 lead, trailed 44-40 at half and won the second half 66-55 to win the game.

Last week after a win over the Suns, Edwards told ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt, "I just want to kill everything in front of me." He did just that to the Nuggets in Game 1. 

The Timberwolves shot 27-of-38 from the field (71 percent) in the second half, led by Towns, Reid and Edwards.

The Timberwolves are now 5-0 in the playoffs.