The talkative and braggadocious Anthony Edwards hasn't been at a loss for words early in his NBA career, but when asked Monday night after the Wolves' 130-108 loss where things went wrong, all Edwards could do was shake his head and mutter one name at first.
"Steph Curry," Edwards said with a laugh that conveyed disbelief and awe. "That's all. I mean, he came in the game [in the fourth quarter] and scored like 12 points straight by himself. That was the difference."
Indeed Curry was the difference for the Warriors, who put away the Wolves late in the fourth quarter as Curry took over, scoring 15 of his game-high 36 points after entering with 6 minutes, 45 seconds remaining and the Wolves down 103-95.
As Edwards pointed out, Curry then scored the next 12 Warriors points as he helped the Warriors increase their lead to 121-103 by the 3:27 mark. Edwards, who finished with 15 points and a thunderous dunk in the first half, left a convert to the greatness of Curry. It's one thing to watch him as a fan. It's another to play on the same court with him and try to stop him, and Edwards expressed that wonderment.
"I've been watching him on TV for a minute, and it ain't fake. It ain't fake news," Edwards said. "It's real. He'll just take on dribble and pull up from deep and shoot it like it's nothing. I was watching him warm up and I was like, 'That's crazy.' "
The Wolves lost track of Curry often Monday night thanks to his ability to move off the ball with or without screens. That also caught the attention of Edwards.
"He never stops moving, so I mean, you can try to switch everything, keep switching, keep switching, but you're going to make a mistake," Edwards said. "And I don't know how he got so much energy. He played the whole first quarter and never stopped moving. He's just hard to guard."
Coach Ryan Saunders also laughed at times when talking about the Wolves' attempts to stifle Curry, but his laugh was more "what can you do?" than amazement as Curry worked himself wide open many times on the night.
"I mean it's definitely not in the game plan to leave him open — ever … " Saunders said. "If you're not communicating, having a tough time getting out as we're switching more, he makes it really tough on you and tough on you to come back."
That's where the Wolves found themselves in their second consecutive game without Karl-Anthony Towns (COVID protocols) and D'Angelo Russell, who had a right quad contusion he suffered Friday swell up. The Wolves have lost a variety of ways this season, but Monday's didn't feature the helplessness of a blowout or the anger of a fourth-quarter collapse. The Wolves hung around and stayed within striking distance all night — and then Curry happened.
"We're in a place right now just with our group where if we hit a pothole we kind of struggle," Saunders said. "We got to find a way to fight through those."
Malik Beasley did his best in that regard, scoring 30 while Jordan McLaughlin had 15 off the bench for the Wolves.
Andrew Wiggins had a solid showing against his old team in scoring 23 points to go with three blocks and three steals on the defensive end for Golden State.
But the Wolves just couldn't overcome Curry, and the good news for them is they get to try and corral him again on Wednesday night.
"His teammates could really go for 40 points a game if they actually shot the ball because he draws so much attention," Edwards said. "Four of our guys going with him off a pindown and somebody's open at the rim every time. We just know how deadly he is around the three."
The Star Tribune did not travel for this game. This article was written using the television broadcast and video interviews after the game.