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Ant's dazzling 43 secures Game 1 road win vs. Nuggets

Garrett Ellwood / National Basketball Association / Getty

Anthony Edwards scored 43 points to help the Minnesota Timberwolves take Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals 106-99 over the defending champion Denver Nuggets on Saturday night.

Edwards' 43 is his playoff career high. He joins Kobe Bryant as the only players with consecutive 40-point games at the age of 22 or younger in NBA playoff history, according to ESPN's Malika Andrews. Edwards recorded 40 points in Game 4 of the first round to put away the Phoenix Suns.

He also joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bryant, and LeBron James as the only players to have scored 35 points in three straight games at the age of 22 or younger, according to reporter Kirk Goldsberry.

Edwards scored 25 of his points in the first half.

T-Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns added 20 points, and newly crowned Sixth Man of the Year Naz Reid added 16 off the bench - 14 of which came in the final frame. Mike Conley recorded a double-double of 14 points and 10 assists.

"The whole team, we trust each other," Edwards said, according to Pat Graham of The Associated Press. "It doesn't matter down the stretch who takes the shot."

Minnesota went on an 18-7 run after being tied at 84 with 6:24 remaining in the contest.

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic recorded 32 points, nine assists, eight rebounds, and three steals in the loss. Only two other players reached double-digit points: Michael Porter Jr. (20) and Jamal Murray (17).

Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch returned to the bench after suffering a ruptured patellar tendon in Game 4 against the Suns after colliding with Conley. While Finch was present, assistant Micah Nori called timeouts and instructed the players.

Game 2 takes place Monday.

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