NBA Hoops

Anthony Edwards, Wolves fully confident down 3-2 to Nuggets

Anthony Edwards, Wolves fully confident down 3-2 to Nuggets

DENVER — Anthony Edwards pulled a baseball cap over his head after the worst night of his young postseason career — a 5-for-15 showing in a 112-97 loss in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals Tuesday night that left his Minnesota Timberwolves on the brink of elimination — and had one last bit of banter with a member of the Denver Nuggets before making his exit.

This time, the Wolves’ 22-year-old star was engaging a Nuggets locker room attendant, bringing up a conversation the two had after Game 2, when Minnesota had jumped to a seemingly commanding 2-0 series lead.

“You jinxed us,” Edwards said with a sly smile.

“I liked our chances,” the locker room attendant chirped back. “What do you expect me to say, Ant?”

Edwards nodded and delivered a response containing the same confidence with his Wolves down 3-2 that the attendant had when the defending champions were down 0-2 more than a week ago.

“See you Game 7,” Edwards replied.

From the outside, Minnesota might be in a free fall — losing the past three games by a combined 50 points and seeing its impenetrable defense from the regular season be picked apart by league MVP Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets — but the Wolves say they still have life in them.

“It comes down to Game 6 at home and that’s exactly where we want to be,” Wolves coach Chris Finch said. “A lot of game, a lot of series left, we’ve got to force it into a Game 7, but most importantly, we’ve got to regroup, get guys focusing on what we need to do and they’ve been good at that all season. So, we’ll be ready.”

Edwards, who had averaged 33.3 points on 60.4% shooting through the first four games of the series, admitted that Denver’s defensive attention on him in Game 5 was a lot to contend with. The Nuggets were able to blanket the shooting guard with extra attention and multiple defenders all game in part because they didn’t have to worry about Wolves point guard Mike Conley.

Conley was ruled out because of a sore right Achilles, giving Minnesota one less ball handler to absorb the pressure focused on Edwards.

“This was crazy,” Edwards said of the Nuggets’ schemes centered on stopping him after he went 1-for-8 in the first half and finished with 18 points, 9 assists and 4 turnovers. “Today…

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