Anthony Edwards might miss Wolves’ game vs. Jazz

Field Level Media

November 30, 2023 at 8:12 am.

The Minnesota Timberwolves will shoot for their third win in a row when they oppose the Utah Jazz on Thursday night in Minneapolis — and they might have to do so without top scorer Anthony Edwards.

Minnesota boasts the best record in the Western Conference at 13-4, including a 119-97 road win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday and a 106-103 home victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday.

Now, the Timberwolves might have to confront their biggest dose of adversity so far this season. Edwards is listed as doubtful because of a right hip injury, and top defender Jaden McDaniels remains out due to a sprained right ankle.

Edwards, 22, was injured in the Tuesday win. He drove to the paint for an attempted dunk but lost his balance when he made contact with a Thunder player, and he fell hard to the court with his hip absorbing most of the impact.

After a timeout, Edwards returned to attempt his free throws, but he left the game about a minute later when the pain became too much to bear.

It will not be easy for Minnesota to replace the lost scoring if Edwards is unable to go against the Jazz. Edwards is averaging a career-high 26.2 points per game on 46.4 percent shooting, including 37.7 percent shooting from beyond the 3-point arc.

Timberwolves coach Chris Finch praised backup guard Troy Brown Jr., who stepped in for Edwards against the Thunder and could receive a more prominent role against Utah. Brown scored 17 points against Oklahoma City, including seven of Minnesota’s final nine points to secure the victory.

“I told him one day, ‘Hey, just bear with us. Your time is coming,’ ” Finch said. “He says, ‘I’m cool, Coach. I’m ready. I’ll be ready.’ ”

Brown was happy to contribute.

“At this point, that’s the NBA,” he said. “You can literally go from being sixth man to not in the rotation. It’s just based off what the team needs at the time.

“To me, I’ve had my ups and downs in (my) career. Just being in different positions and learning how to deal with all that mentally has helped me a lot. Now, I just try to be as happy as I can and bring energy to my teammates and stay ready.”

The Timberwolves will welcome a Utah team that is playing on short rest. The Jazz are coming off a 105-91 road loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.

“Breaking habits or forming new ones is hard,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “It takes an extreme amount of focus, especially when you’re not playing in your gym. I think our team is continuing to improve. The trend is going in the right direction. … But (on Wednesday) there were large chunks of the game where it was a setback for us.”

John Collins led Utah with 17 points on 7-for-14 shooting against Memphis. Jordan Clarkson and Simone Fontecchio added 12 points apiece for the Jazz.

Utah forward Lauri Markkanen missed his third straight game against Memphis and will remain out against the Timberwolves because of a left hamstring injury. The 26-year-old Finland native is averaging 23.7 points and 8.7 rebounds through 15 games this season.