Coming into the Memphis Grizzlies/Minnesota Timberwolves series, the storylines were centered on Ja Morant, an MVP candidate who lifted the Grizzlies to 56 wins, a No. 2 seed, and the early favorite to win the series. Morant brought NBA Twitter to its feet with the game’s most spectacular play.
JA OFF A TRAMPOLINE WITH THE TWO HAND!!!!!— SLAM (@SLAMonline) April 16, 2022
(via @NBAUK) pic.twitter.com/jMoqZrlCCA
However, Anthony Edwards showed the NBA world that he is not a young player that is not afraid of the moment. Edwards matched Morant’s 19 first-half points and engineered the Wolves’ offense in the second half to the first upset of the NBA playoffs.
Edwards shined in his first playoff game scoring 36 points while adding six assists in a 130-117 Minnesota win over the Grizzlies for their first road playoff victory since 2004. The Timberwolves now lead 1-0 going into Game 2 on Tuesday night with the win.
🐺 @theantedwards_ was feeling it in his playoff debut dropping 36 points to give the @Timberwolves the 1-0 series lead!— NBA (@NBA) April 16, 2022
36 PTS | 6 AST | 2 BLK | 4 3PM
GAME 2: T-WOLVES/GRIZZLIES
Tues. 8:30pm/et on NBA TV#NBAPlayoffs presented by Google Pixel pic.twitter.com/iyE4Jet5Fj
According to ESPN Stats and Info, the former top pick in the 2020 NBA draft is now one of only four players with more than 35 points in a playoff game before turning 21-years-old. The others were Derrick Rose, Tyler Herro, and Magic Johnson. Edwards was dominant from all areas of the court, knocking down four three-pointers, finishing strong at the rim, and hitting all eight of his free throws.
Although it surprised many, Edwards’ confidence did not waver in any way in this game, as he stated after the game.
“I told [teammate Taurean Prince] I treat every game the same,” Edwards said via ESPN. “I didn’t feel any different — like a regular-season game to me.”
“I love my shots,” Edwards said. “Whatever shot I take, whether it’s a step-back trey-ball or a step-back midrange or a floater or a layup — whatever my shot is — I like it. Sometimes, [Timberwolves coach Chris Finch] may not like it, but I love my shot. I’m just trusting myself.”
The two young stars, Morant and Edward, will continue to share the spotlight for the rest of the series after a historic performance in Game 1, becoming the first opposing players in NBA history to each top the 30-point mark in a playoff game at 22 or under. Morant finished with 32 points.
Timberwolves coach Chris Finch wants to see how consistent Anthony can be going forward.
“Let’s just see what he does over the long haul. He’s had two really good games,” Finch said via Twincities.com. “I know he’ll be locked in. Can’t get bored, you know? Can’t get bored.”
Tune in to see Game 2 on Tuesday night and find out.