Edwards, KAT lead Timberwolves to 130-117 Game 1 playoff win at Memphis

 Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves goes to the basket against Steven Adams #4 of the Memphis Grizzlies during the first half of Game One of the Western Conference First Round at FedExForum on April 16, 2022 in Memphis, Tennessee. ((Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images))

The Minnesota Timberwolves earned their way into the Western Conference Playoffs on Tuesday, and Saturday, stole a road game to start its series against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Anthony Edwards scored 36 points, Karl-Anthony Towns had 29 points and 13 rebounds and Malik Beasley scored 23 points off the bench in a 130-117 win over the Grizzlies. The Timberwolves led 65-62 at the half and out-scored the Grizzlies 33-25 in the fourth quarter for just the second Game 1 win the playoffs in franchise history. It's Minnesota's first playoff win since 2018.

It was a redemption game for Towns, who played just 24 minutes and had 11 points and five rebounds before fouling out Tuesday night against the L.A. Clippers.

"Everyone was special. This was a team win, this happened because all of us came today with one goal in mind and that was winning," Towns said. "I thought we played a lot of winning basketball… I just really feel like that’s what I’m supposed to do. It shouldn’t be something that we should be celebrating. I don’t want to act like it’s something that should be abnormal, like ‘Wow, I did that.’ That’s what I should be doing."

"I wasn't worried at all. There was a lot of things that cross your mind, I was not worried about KAT's ability to bounce back and perform at an All NBA level. He's a franchise star," Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said after the win. "There haven't been many nights like he had Tuesday."

For Edwards, it was his playoff debut and the 36 points, which ties for the fourth-highest scoring mark in a playoff debut. Towns shot 11-of-18 from the field, including 2-of-5 from the perimeter. Edwards shot 12-of-23 from the field, and Beasley shot 8-of-14 from the field.

The Timberwolves had six scorers in double figures, and answered every run by the Grizzlies in the second half. The Wolves shot 50 percent from the field in the win, including 39 percent from the perimeter. The Wolves led 30-17 early, and their confidence grew the rest of the game.

"We were focused right from the get go... That lead and the way we started was pretty much what won the game for us," Finch said.

Ja Morant led the Grizzlies with 32 points, shooting 8-of-18 from the field and 16-of-20 at the free-throw line. Dillon Brooks added 24 points. The Timberwolves limited Memphis to 25.9 percent shooting from the perimeter.

For the second straight Timberwolves game, a protester caused a disruption in the second quarter. A woman chained herself to a basket to protest the mass killing of chickens at an Iowa egg farm owned by Glen Taylor. The woman, wearing a "Glen Taylor Roasts Animals Alive" shirt, was carried off by multiple security employees. On Tuesday, a protester glued her hand to the floor at Target Center.

With the Grizzlies trying to mount a fourth quarter comeback, Beasley, D'Angelo Russell, Patrick Beverley, Edwards and Jaden McDaniels all hit 3-points at key stretches. Towns won a scramble to a loose ball that ended with a Beasley dunk to put the Timberwolves up 122-112, and essentially put the game away.

The Wolves now have a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series and face the Grizzlies in Game 2 at Memphis Tuesday night.