Timberwolves vs. Clippers score, takeaways: Anthony Edwards, D'Angelo Russell help Minnesota clinch No. 7 seed

The Minnesota Timberwolves are heading to the NBA playoffs. Despite a less than spectacular effort from All-Star big man Karl-Anthony Towns, the Wolves were able to defeat the Los Angeles Clippers, 109-104, to clinch the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference and secure a first-round matchup with the No. 2 Memphis Grizzlies. The postseason appearance is Minnesota's first since 2018, and just their second since 2004. 

Despite the loss, this season isn't over for the Clippers as their playoff hopes remain alive. They will now play the winner of the play-in game between the New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs. The winner of that game will secure the eighth seed in the West, and face off against the top-seeded Phoenix Suns in the first round. However, before moving ahead with the play-in tournament, here's a look at three key takeaways from Minnesota's win over L.A. 

1. An epically poor performance from Karl-Anthony Towns

It's tough to explain just how poorly Karl-Anthony Towns played against the Clippers, although his raw numbers help to tell the story. Towns had just 11 points on 3-of-11 shooting from the floor, along with five rebounds and four turnovers. He couldn't find any sort of a rhythm on offense, and he was clearly bothered by Los Angeles' physicality. Foul trouble forced him to be timid defensively, so he wasn't much of a factor on the defensive end either.

Ultimately, Towns fouled out after playing just 24 total minutes in the game. What is especially concerning is the fact that the last two fouls that Towns picked up demonstrated a complete lack of awareness on his end. When you're already in foul trouble, and as important to your team as Towns is, you can't be reckless out on the floor, and that's what he was. 

Towns finished the game with more fouls (six) and turnovers (four) than made field goals (3). It's pretty amazing that the Timberwolves were able to win the game despite Towns' poor performance, which brings us to our second takeaway.  

2. Anthony Edwards, D'Angelo Russell saved Minnesota 

Towns picked a tough time to have arguably his worst game of the season but, luckily for Minnesota, Anthony Edwards and D'Angelo Russell picked up the slack. Both players hit big shot after big shot for Minnesota, and their combined production was a major catalyst in the contest. Edwards finished with 30 points and five rebounds, and Russell had 29 points and six assists.

Both players were awesome and certainly provided Minnesota fans with a reason for optimism heading into a tough series with a really good Grizzlies team. If those two can continue to play at a high level -- and Towns bounces back -- they'll be a tough out for Memphis. 

3. Paul George did his thing 

The Clippers weren't able to walk away with a win, but not because of a lack of effort on Paul George's part. In 41 minutes of action, George poured in 34 points (including 17 in the third quarter alone), grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists, while playing his usual solid defense on the other end. He also knocked down six of his 12 attempts from long range. 

Ultimately, George's production wasn't enough, and he could've used a bit more help. Reggie Jackson (17 points) was the team's second-leading scorer, and only two other players -- Norman Powell and Marcus Morris Sr. -- scored in double figures. In their next game, the Clippers will have to do a better job of providing supplementary scoring around George. 

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TUE 9:30 P
MIN -3.5, o231
TNT
MIN -3.5, O/U 231

Season Leaders

points
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A. Edwards25.2 PTS, 3.0 AST, 4.2 REB
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A. Edwards25.2 PTS, 3.0 AST, 4.2 REB
assists
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D. Russell12.0 PTS, 6.7 AST, 2.5 REB
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D. Russell12.0 PTS, 6.7 AST, 2.5 REB
rebounds
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K. Towns21.8 PTS, 2.2 AST, 10.8 REB
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K. Towns21.8 PTS, 2.2 AST, 10.8 REB
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109-104 is the final. An impressive win for the Wolves. 

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Pat Beverley is First-Team All-Troll 

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The Clippers season is still alive. They'll face the winner of the play-in game between the Spurs and Pelicans. The winner of that game will become the eighth seed in the West and face the Suns in the first round. 

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The Timberwolves are going to win this one. They'll claim the 7th seed in the West and face off against Memphis in the first round. 

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April 13, 2022, 4:24 AM
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Paul George has been doing everything he can to keep the Clippers alive in this one. Impressive performance from him. 

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D'Angelo Russell, as cool as the other side of the pillow. 

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