‘Favourite player of all time’: Edwards relishing playoff matchup vs. Durant

Anthony Edwards went off for a game-high 33 points and grabbed nine boards to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 120-95 victory against the Phoenix Suns in Game 1 of the series.

Never meet your idols… unless you’re Anthony Edwards.

The Minnesota Timberwolves superstar grew up as a fan of Kevin Durant, to the point of anointing the future hall of famer as his “favourite player of all time.” However, despite his soft spot for KD, it didn’t stop Edwards from dropping 33 points on the Suns as his Timberwolves coasted to a 120-95 Game 1 win on Saturday.

Although the game wasn’t particularly close, the duo went back and forth all night trading baskets every chance they got. In the third quarter when the Timberwolves really started to pull away, Edwards drilled a pair of threes as part of the 18 points he scored in the frame and made sure to let Durant know about it.

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“I think everyone here knows that’s my favourite player of all time,” Edwards said post-game, on his exchange with Durant. “That was probably one of the best feelings ever, in my whole life.”

Durant often refers to himself as a basketball purist, so even he couldn’t help but crack a smile after Edwards let him hear it and the Minnesota crowd went wild following those back-to-back triples.

“It’s just basketball, not even playoffs, it’s just hoops,” Durant said after the game when asked about the scoring outburst by Edwards. “You get hot, you make shots, you make tough shots, you’re gonna feel excited about yourself. So it’s on me to keep coming back.”

Despite the big loss, the 14-time All-Star made sure to answer Edwards’ production as much as he could, finishing with an impressive 31 points on 11-of-17 shooting and seven rebounds.

Meanwhile, Saturday was Edwards’ 12th playoff game but he’s already reached fourth all-time on the Timberwolves’ playoff scoring list. His performance was so impressive that the crowd broke out into an “M-V-P” chant while celebrating the victory.

A game like this doesn’t come as a surprise to Minnesota fans considering Edwards has proven to be a playoff riser, despite his short post-season tenure. His career scoring average of 22.9 points per game jumps up to 28.5 points come playoff time, and his scoring stats take a jump practically across the broad.

Edwards and the Wolves will return to action on Tuesday, looking to take a 2-0 series lead as they host the Suns.

If Minnesota ends up winning the series, it would be its first playoff series win since 2004.

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