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Malik Beasley erupts for 11 3-pointers as Timberwolves trounce Thunder

The win marked Minnesota’s sixth straight win — their first six-plus game winning streak since the 2003-04 campaign that ended in the Western Conference finals

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley (5) shoots one of his team record 11 three point baskets against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the third quarter Wednesday, March 9, 2022, at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Bruce Kluckhohn / USA Today Sports

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Timberwolves’ game against the Thunder was well in hand, but there was one thing left on the line: an 11th 3-pointerfor Malik Beasley.

The sharpshooter already had 10 — tying him with Anthony Edwards for the franchise record. Timberwolves coach Chris Finch left Beasley in the game amid the blowout, likely to give him a chance to take the record for himself.

And, sure enough, late in the fourth, Beasley put on a dazzling dribbling display, pulled up and fired just prior to the shot clock’s expiration.

Splash.

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Minnesota Timberwolves
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) looks for a way around Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) and guard Jaylen Nowell (4) in the second quarter on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Bruce Kluckhohn / USA Today Sports

The record was his, putting an exclamation point on the Timberwolves’ dominant 132-102 win over the Thunder on Wednesday at Target Center.

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Immediately after, timeout was called and Beasley flashed a massive grin. He was quickly swarmed by teammates as they started dancing in celebration. The crowd erupted into a “Beasley! Beasley” chant, Patrick Beverley doused water on Beasley’s head, and D’Angelo Russell chased it with a bottle of yellow Gatorade.

The latter drew a skeptical look from Karl-Anthony Towns. No one wants a sugary mess on their head.

As the dust settled, Towns snitched on the point guard, walking over to Beasley to say, “I just want you to know, that was DLo that dumped that Gatorade on you.”

It was about the only thing that went wrong for Beasley. The guard finished with, appropriately, 33 points. That marks the most points in NBA history by a player who scored all of his points on triples. There’s a reason the guard is referenced as “Malik Threesley” by public address announcer Shawn Parker every time he hits a triple at home.

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Minnesota Timberwolves
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Darius Bazley (7) goes to the basket as Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels (3) and guard Malik Beasley (5) defend him in the first quarter Wednesday, March 9, at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Bruce Kluckhohn / USA TODAY Sports

It took one quarter for him to essentially put the Timberwolves (38-29) into the winner’s column. He drained six triples in the first quarter alone to stake Minnesota to a double-digit advantage.

The win marked Minnesota’s sixth straight win — their first six-plus game winning streak since the 2003-04 campaign that ended in the Western Conference finals. It was Minnesota’s fifth straight win by 14-plus points, a franchise record.

“We’re just getting started,” Beasley said in his postgame, on-court interview. “We’re just getting started.”

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