Anthony Edwards scores career-high 51 in Wolves win after Naz Reid ejection

Naz Reid #11 of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts after being ejected from the game in the first quarter against the Washington Wizards at Target Center on April 9, 2024 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. ((Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images))

Thanks to a career night from Anthony Edwards, the Minnesota Timberwolves survived a first quarter ejection from Naz Reid in a 130-121 win over the Washington Wizards Tuesday night at Target Center.

Edwards scored a career-high 51 points, shooting 17-of-29 from the field and 6-of-13 from three-point range. He also had seven assists and six rebounds. Edwards told Bally Sports North after the win he wanted to do it for assistant coach Micah Nori, who celebrated his 50th birthday on Tuesday.

"It’s his birthday today. (Mike Conley) came up to me in the third quarter and was like you’re going to get 50 tonight. I was like whatever it takes to win, he’s like why not do both?" Edwards said after the win.

It's his first 50-point game this season, and the second for the Timberwolves this season after Karl-Anthony Towns had 62 in a loss earlier this season.

"He was in a groove, he was feeling it for sure. We needed all of them and the best thing about it for me was they came in the flow, he kept making the right play down the stretch," Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said after the win. "I thought it was an unbelievable performance. Everyone has a green light when they play for me. It’s really hard to have a night like that. Physically it is very hard to score 50 points, it takes a lot of energy and effort. To do it with this type of efficiency is pretty impressive."

Reid, starting with Karl-Anthony Towns out, was ejected in the first quarter after being assessed a flagrant two foul for an elbow to the back of the head on Johnny Davis. He exchanged words with Reid and Jaden McDaniels after the play.

The contact was deemed unnecessary and excessive, and Reid’s night was over after three points in eight minutes. Reid was coming off a 31-point, 11 rebound night Sunday as the Timberwolves beat the Lakers 127-117 to improve to 54-24 on the season.

"I didn’t see it when it happened. I got a quick look at it on replay behind the bench, so I’ve got to look at it again. I don’t know how egregious it looked," Finch said.

Reid is among the favorites for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year. To add insult to injury, the Timberwolves trailed the 15-win Wizards 44-26 after the first quarter and 70-60 at half. After a slow start, the night ended up being about Edwards and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who added 23 points off the bench. Towns has been cleared for practice and 5-on-5 basketball activities, and his return is imminent with three games to play. The Timberwolves improved to 12-5 without him.

The Timberwolves are 55-24, remain atop the Western Conference and have a huge game at Denver Wednesday night that will have implications for the top seed in the West.