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A Huge Night From Jaden McDaniels Gave The Wolves A 2-0 Lead Over The Suns

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The Minnesota Timberwolves are two wins away from winning a round in the playoffs for only the third time in franchise history. On Tuesday night, the Wolves hosted the Phoenix Suns at the Target Center in Game 2 of their first round series, and thanks to a dominant second half and one of the best games of an unlikely hero’s career, Minnesota was able to pick up a 105-93 win to go up 2-0 in the series.

The Suns led the game at halftime and midway through the third quarter behind foul trouble for Karl-Anthony Towns and an off night for Anthony Edwards. But a switch flipped for the Wolves, which went on a 12-0 run in the frame that was powered by Edwards and the hero on the night, Jaden McDaniels. It put Minnesota up by double-figures, and while Phoenix was eventually able to get the lead within six, they were never able to get past that, as the Wolves’ defense managed to put out fires whenever they popped up.

The surprise of the night was McDaniels, as the lengthy wing was able to mix his usually stellar defense with a new playoff career-high in scoring. McDaniels went for a game-high 25 points on 10-for-17 shooting with eight rebounds, and provided a much-needed spark on the offensive end of the floor.

The effort for McDaniels was necessary as Edwards struggled from the field — he scored 15 points on 3-for-12 shooting — and Towns struggled to get into any sort of rhythm due to three fouls in the first quarter that limited him to 24 minutes of action on the night. But both Mike Conley and Rudy Gobert were able to provide 18 points, while Nickeil Alexander-Walker provided 10 points off the bench.

This ended up being more than enough because Phoenix’s trio of stars weren’t able to really get going, while the rest of their teammates didn’t provide enough of a lift. Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, and Kevin Durant combined to score 52 points on 18-for-45 shooting (40 percent) and three combined made threes. While Eric Gordon (15 points, 3-for-5 from three) was able to provide a little offense off of the bench, the team lost a major contributor due to injury, with Grayson Allen leaving after 17 minutes of work after hurting his ankle.

Now, the series will head to Phoenix, where the Suns will hope they can get back on even footing against a Minnesota team that is just clicking right now. Game 3 between the Suns and the Timberwolves will take place on Friday night on ESPN, and is scheduled to tip off at 10:30 p.m. EST.