MINNEAPOLIS – Anthony Edwards and Patrick Beverley standing on the table of the Target Center Top Scorer, shouting and celebrating in praise of an iconic moment in Minnesota Timberwolves franchise history when Kevin Garnett standing on the table and celebrating during the 2004 playoffs.
Not long after jumping off the table, Beverley sat on the Timberwolves’ bench and began to sob from a surge of emotion. This is deeply personal to Beverley. The veteran points guard is not only thrilled to beat his old team, he’s also thrilled to help Minnesota take seventh place in the Western Conference knockouts with a 109-104 Come from behind play-in victory LA Clippers on Tuesday night.
Minnesota will play the second seed Memphis Grizzlies in Game 1 of the playoff series on Saturday. This is the Timberwolves’ first playoff since 2018.
“Gosh, I want this so badly,” Beverley, who hugged her mother, Lisa, said in court. “This is just the icing on the cake, cherry on top. Let’s play, to be able to beat them… another goal happened. I told you we were going into the knockout round. Most of you, y’ all looked at me like I was crazy when I first said it. I told you.”
And he wastes no time telling his former team – the team that made him leave in August – how he feels. The Clippers sent Beverley to Memphis, and the Grizzlies in turn awarded him to Minnesota, which gave him the contract extension he sought in February.
After forcing a late transfer, Beverley celebrated in front of the Clippers’ bench, giving a shout-out before pulling and pointing at his Minnesota jersey.
“Let’s take them home,” Beverley said of what he told his former teammates at the end of the game. “The long flight to LA Bringing them home. It was deeper than that for me. I gave my blood and sweat and tears to that organization. You know the story.
“Blood, sweat and tears, to be written like, ‘He’s vulnerable. He’s old.’ This, this, that. To be able to come here and play them in a play-in and beat them, there’s no other feeling, man. There’s no other feeling.”
Beverley fulfilled his vow when he was introduced to the Minnesota media in September that he would lead the Wolves to the knockout stages. On Tuesday night, he helped the only franchise secure its second trip to post-season since Garnett finished in the same group after leading Wolves to the 2004 Western Conference final.
And Beverley did the same against his old team. The point guard – who had seven points and 11 rebounds on Tuesday – spent four seasons with the Clippers and helped the team transition from Chris Paul–Blake Griffin–DeAndre Jordan era for its current team with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Beverley helped establish the Clippers’ current identity of hard work and their next man’s spirit.
In Minneapolis, Beverley’s hustle, tight defence, and bravery left their mark on a young and impressive squad.
“They have people who are a bit more confident,” said George after scoring 34 points for the Clippers, the team that will now face the winner. San Antonio Spurs–New Orleans Pelicans Play-in game for the eighth seed. “His energy and his personality, you know, was rubbed, they made an impact on that squad.
“I know what’s going to happen in this game. I’m not going to let Pat make my antics and try to embarrass me. I know it’s all for show. It’s for the crowd. Be charismatic. crowd joins I like it I love it I miss it he did it on our side because it was contagious I think when he was on it it burned the whole team fire arena. You need such energy people.”
Minnesota overcame a number of challenges to beat the Clippers. LA leads 10 with 8:54 left in the game, and The town of Karl-Anthonyfrustrated by bad trouble the whole game, fouled with 7:34 left after posting only 11 points.
But Edwards scored 9 of his 30 points after those 10 deficits, and D’Angelo Russell hit a few 3-pointers in the final four minutes before finishing with 29 to give Minnesota the advantage with a 21-5 scoreline.
“I took what the game gave me,” said Edwards, who will play in his first playoff series. “And that’s what they gave me.
“They were scared to protect me, and I took advantage of that.”
The Wolves celebrated on their home turf like they won the playoff series. And the fans soaked it up. After all, the franchise has lost an average of 46 games over the past three seasons.
“I’m not going to lie, that’s been my thought since I thought we were playing them,” Edwards said of standing at the table like Garnett. “I went to sleep [and] said I would hit the winning shot and I would jump on the table. “
Beverley and the Wolves will face off next Ja Morant and Memphis. But they will enjoy this playoff landing first.
“I told you, Ant,” Beverley told Edwards. “They don’t believe me. We’re going to the knockout, baby. They look at me like I’m crazy. They say, ‘Pat, you’re crazy!'”