Anthony Edwards scorching back half of the 2020-21 regular season continued with a 42-point performance in the Minnesota Timberwolves' 139-135 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
The No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft, Edwards has surged into favoritism for Rookie of the Year, both due to his own form and the extended absence of LaMelo Ball with injury.
Along with the point total, the 19-year-old added six rebounds, seven assists, one steal and a block for a well-rounded iouting in his latest eye catching performance.
Let's dive into some of the numbers on a remarkable night for the Timberwolves' rising star.
The Rookie of the Year case is closed.- Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) May 6, 2021
Put Ant's name in ink. 🖋 pic.twitter.com/MdVj2fUuvb
42: Equals franchise rookie record
Back in March, Edwards became the first Minnesota rookie to score 40+ in a career-high 42-point effort against the Phoenix Suns. Just over a month late, he did it again, equalling his own career-high and franchise mark.
Incredibly, he reached the point total while missing his lone free-throw attempting, becoming the second rookie in NBA history to score 40 without a make from the charity stripe.
Producing an insanely efficient 17-for-22 mark from the floor, Edwards proved to be unstoappble, using his craftiness off the dribble to score from the outside and explode to the paint to finish at the basket with ease.
Edwards also now joins LeBron James as the only teenagers in history to post multiple 40-point games.
Teenagers with multiple 40+ point games in NBA history:- Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) May 6, 2021
3 - @KingJames
2 - @theantedwards_
That's the list. pic.twitter.com/40JgPT6pul
8: Equals franchise single game record
Included in the above-mentioned shooting numbers was a scorching hot 8-for-9 performance from behind the 3-point line, with the 31 percent outside shooter staying hot throughout.
The eight makes from beyond the arc tied the franchise record for a single game, with Edwards joining Kevin Love and Stephon Marbury in the record books.
With that three-pointer, his eighth of the night, Anthony Edwards has tied the @Timberwolves single-game record for most threes in a game. He joins Kevin Love (12/13/13 at San Antonio) and Stephon Marbury (12/23/97 at Seattle) with eight threes in a game.- Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) May 6, 2021
The performance takes his season tally to 155 3-pointers in 2020-21, making him the youngest player in league history to knock down 150+ from the outside in a season.
He also became the first 19-year-old in league history to score at least 40 points while hitting on a minimum of five outside shots.
Anthony Edwards is the first 19-year-old in NBA history to drop 40+ points and 5+ threes in a game.- StatMuse (@statmuse) May 6, 2021
19y, 273d - Anthony Edwards
20y, 29d - Eric Gordon
20y, 52d - Brandon Jennings
20y, 70d - Kevin Durant
20y, 80d - LeBron James pic.twitter.com/lTsRACCvpV
31: Zeroing in on another record
The Timberwolves have seven games to play in the regular season, with tonight's performance leaving Edwards two short of Christin Laettner's franchise rookie record of 33 games of 20+ points.
21 of the 31 games have come after the All-Star break for Edwards, as new head coach Chris Finch has empowered his rookie in the offence.
Edwards has seen his scoring spike from 14.9 points per game to 23.1 while his true shooting percentage has also spiked despite the increased volume, rising from 46.6 to 54.3.
It will be hard to deny Edwards the Rookie of the Year award now, with performances like this only solidifying the decision to select the athletic guard with the first pick in the draft.
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