Just over an hour away from Cleveland, Cedar Point Amusement Park is home to some of the best roller coasters in the world. But on Monday, the Minnesota Timberwolves took their own fans on a thrill ride, surviving with a 127-122 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The first quarter was an uphill climb for the Timberwolves as they couldn't find their shooting touch. With the Cavaliers building a 14-point lead, it appeared that Minnesota was on the same trajectory as Friday's loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
But when the Timberwolves got going, they came with the intensity of the 310-foot drop on "Millenium Force."
Defense was a key for Minnesota, forcing 20 Cleveland turnovers on the night. The Timberwolves also enjoyed a strong night from their bench as Jaden McDaniels knocked down four of his five 3-pointers in the first half on the way to 17 points.
With 38 points in the second quarter, Minnesota took a 64-61 lead into halftime. In the third quarter, Patrick Beverley and Jarred Vanderbilt were all over the court defensively. Anthony Edwards also rebounded from a pair of tough shooting performances to score 17 points with a highlight-reel slam.
With Edwards' dunk, the Timberwolves appeared to be pulling away with the 120 mph top velocity on "Top Thrill Dragster." But just as quickly as they built a 23-point lead, the Cavaliers made their move.
Former Timberwolves star Kevin Love led Cleveland with 26 points on the night. Jarrett Allen poured in 21 points and a 3-pointer by Cedi Osman tied the game at 122 with 33.8 seconds to go.
But in a game with more twists and turns than "Maverick," Karl-Anthony Towns came up big. In the same city where he won the NBA's 3-point Contest, Towns drilled a go-ahead trey with 12.4 seconds to go. D'Angelo Russell put the finishing touches on a 25-point night with a pair of free throws to secure the victory.
After a thrilling win over the Cavaliers, the Timberwolves (33-29) will go on another thrill ride on Tuesday night when they host the Golden State Warriors.