Anthony Edwards Shares Heartfelt Moment With Vikings Legend After Game 1

Anthony Edwards

Getty Anthony Edwards exchanged jerseys with former Vikings superstar Adrian Peterson after Game 1.

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards connected with another all-time favorite athlete of his besides Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant on Saturday.

Edwards out-played Durant as the Wolves blew out the Suns 120-95 in Game 1 and the Target Center, and Edwards received a special gift afterward. Former Minnesota Vikings great Adrian Peterson exchanged jerseys with Edwards in the locker room.

“This right here? This is crazy,” Edwards reacted via a Wolves postgame video. “I used to play with him on ‘Madden’ every day.”

Peterson, a former MVP and four-time All-Pro, dominated as a running back for the Vikings from 2007 to 2016. He was one of many major Minnesota sports stars who came out to support the Wolves on Saturday.

“It’s nothing but love man,” Peterson said in the video. “For me, it’s so humbling, too, because it’s just like you reach one, teach one, so to have the impact on someone … that’s just gonna be the GOAT in the game, that means more than anything I accomplished in my career.”

“Because for me, that’s the main mission in anything,” Peterson added. “It was about teaching and putting something in place where youngsters could be like ‘you know what, we can overcome this … we can do that.'”

Edwards scored 18 of his game-high 33 points in the third quarter alone as the Wolves overcame a Suns team that swept the Wolves in the regular season. His three-pointer over Durant for an 86-70 lead in the third simply added an exclamation point.

“He’s a great player. You try to do your best to slow him down without being exposed on the backside,” Sunday head coach Frank Vogel told reporters afterward.

Wolves head coach Chris Finch called Edwards’ third quarter “electric” as their team took hold of the game.

Wolves Supporting Cast Shined in Victory

Minnesota’s “electric” performance came from more than just Edwards in the third quarter.

Center Rudy Gobert‘s three-point play made the difference in getting back to a double-digit lead for the Wolves after Durant led the charge to a trim to 71-65. Wolves guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker pushed the lead to 20 points in the final seconds of the quarter, 92-72 amid his 18 points off the bench.

Both he and center Naz Reid kept the momentum going early on as the Wolves hit triple digits by the 8:44 mark at 102-80, and the team cruised from there. Similar to Alexander-Walker, Reid provided a big boost off the bench with 12 points, two boards, and two assists.

“They have so much confidence no matter what role they’re playing or how we need them,” Finch said.

Defensively, the Wolves kept Suns guard Grayson Allen in check amid his four points, five rebounds and two assists. Allen, who had 20 points last week at the Target Center, injured his ankle amid 25 minutes of play on Saturday. Vogel said Allen’s status for Game 2 isn’t decided, but X-Rays were negative.

“Way more than just a shooter,” Finch said about Allen.

Wolves Came ‘Hungry’ for Suns

Minnesota looked nothing like Saturday’s version in the three previous meetings. Phoenix dominated the Wolves 133-115 in November 2023, won 97-87 on April 5 in the desert, and rolled a week ago in Minneapolis 125-106.

“The guys did a good job coming out here hungry with something to prove,” Finch said.

Finch made it clear before Game 1, the Suns hadn’t seen the Wolves at their best yet. Minnesota delivered on Saturday.

After a 28-27 deficit in the first quarter, the Wolves built a double-digit lead in the second quarter and didn’t look back. The Wolves also gashed the Suns on rebounding 52-28.

“Well, they haven’t seen defense or shot-making or good offense or rebounding,” Finch told reporters on Saturday before the game. “They haven’t seen much, they’ve done a really good job of taking us out of our game.”