No Karl-Anthony Towns, no Jaden McDaniels, no Patrick Beverley. Pair that with a trip to Brooklyn for a date with a legitimate NBA title contender that features a top-tier offense and two of the game’s top talents in James Harden and Kevin Durant, and it appeared Minnesota was in for a long night.
Was it long, sure. But that had to do with the 56 fouls whistled between the two teams and the tenacity of the battle.
Minnesota went toe to toe with the Nets for all 48 minutes, before finally falling 110-105.
It did so without Towns, who missed the game with a bruised tailbone suffered late in Minnesota’s loss Wednesday in Washington.
Even the stars who were available weren’t special.
D’Angelo Russell was 6 for 22 from the floor, while Malik Beasley was 6 for 19 from the field, and 4 for 14 from deep.
Anthony Edwards had 19 points on 7 for 16 shooting to go with eight turnovers. After the game, Edwards demanded the loss be put on him.
“I just played terrible,” Edwards said. “That’s the whole recipe to the entire game.”
Meanwhile, on the other end, Harden and Durant combined for 50 points. Durant, who had 30, hit the game-sealing mid-range jumper from the wing to put Brooklyn up five with 11 seconds to play. Durant tallied nine points and five rebounds in the final frame alone.
“The value of having a closer and…