The Rundown: Timberwolves beat Warriors in OT; Lillard fires 42

Published February 2, 2023, 3:00 PMPolo Bustamante

D'Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards took over down the stretch as the Timberwolves outlasted the Warriors. Damian Lillard’s hot streak continues against the Grizzlies.


Wizards, Pistons (Postponed)

76ers 105, Magic 94

Trail Blazers 122, Grizzlies 112

Celtics 129, Nets 96

Rockets 112, Thunder 106

Timberwolves 119, Warriors 114 (OT)

Kings 119, Spurs 109

Jazz 131, Raptors 128

Hawks 132, Suns 100

What went down

Today’s match-up between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Golden State Warriors had a lot of playoff implications. The Timberwolves held a slim advantage over the Warriors for the seventh seed and were virtually tied with the Phoenix Suns for the sixth seed in the West. A win or loss by any of the three teams and there would have been a jumble in the playoff-slash-play-in picture. So, a lot was riding for both the Minny and Golden State in this game.

Early in the fourth period, the Warriors were able to build a 14-point lead and looked like they were on their way to another easy win over a young team. But the plucky Timberwolves refused to lose. D’Angelo Russell scored seven straight points in a 10-0 run to get his team back in the game. 

With less than two minutes remaining in regulation, Naz Reid hit a big triple to give Minny a two-point lead. Curry answered right back with a score in the paint to tie the game at 110. Both teams exchanged big defensive stops, sending the game into OT.

In OT, it was Anthony Edwards’ turn to make the big plays. He got into the heart of the Warriors’ defense to score on back-to-back hits to put the Timberwolves up by five with a little over a minute left in the game. Reid put the exclamation point in the game with a strong slam in the final seconds to help secure the win.

Russell led the way with 29 points, 14 of which came in the final period. Edwards had 27 points, six boards and five assists while Reid stepped in for the injured Rudy Gobert with a 24-13 double-double.

Big-time baller

Coming into this season, Damian Lillard wasn’t supposed to be carrying this much of a load anymore. The Portland Trail Blazers brought in Jerami Grant and elevated Anfernee Simons to the starting line-up to help Lillard out.

That hasn’t been the case this season so far. The Blazers are outside of even the play-in situation in the West at 11th place. That’s why Lillard has had to strap the team on his back once again and tow them to wins.

In January he’s averaging 34.5 points on 49.7 percent shooting. He had a 50-point and a 60-point game per month to go with his handful of 40-point games. That hasn’t been enough to pull the Blazers out of their hole. They only managed six wins in 15 outings during that stretch.

So to start February, Lillard had no choice but to continue to go on his one-man tear. Lillard dropped 42 points and 10 assists on the Memphis Grizzlies, leading the Blazers to a crucial win.

It looks like Lillard has no choice but to keep this hot streak going so that Portland even has a chance at the playoffs.

What he said

The Boston Celtics walloped the Brooklyn Nets by 43 points today. That was largely because of a monster first quarter where they outscored the Nets 46-16.

How did they jump out to that fast start? Here’s Derrick White’s expert breakdown:

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 30 of the team’s 46 points in the first period. Tatum led everyone in scoring with 31 points while Brown had 26 in the blowout win.

Did you see that?

There’s this meme on Reddit where it shows a pokemon evolution featuring Alperen Sengun as Charmander, Domantas Sabonis as Charmeleon, and Nikola Jokic as Charizard.

That meme absolutely makes sense when you watch all three play, especially when Sengun pulls out plays like this: