PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 26: Anthony Edwards #5 of the Minnesota Timberwolves smiles during the game against the Phoenix Suns during Round 1 Game 3 of the 2024 NBA Playoffs on April 26, 2024 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2024 NBAE (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)(Barry Gossage)

Anthony Edwards scores 36 points, Timberwolves beat Suns 126-109 for 3-0 series lead

PHOENIX (AP) — Anthony Edwards scored 36 points, Rudy Gobert added 19 points and 14 rebounds and the Minnesota Timberwolves used a hot-shooting third quarter to beat the Phoenix Suns 126-109 on Friday night and take a 3-0 lead in the first-round series.

Minnesota goes for the sweep in Game 4 on Sunday in Phoenix.

It was the third straight game the Wolves used a big third to turn a tight game into a comfortable victory. Minnesota hit 7 of 11 3-pointers during the surge, including four from Nickeil Alexander-Walker, to take a 22-point lead into the fourth.

Bradley Beal led the Suns with 28 points while Kevin Durant had 25 and Devin Booker 23.

Minnesota had a six-point halftime lead and stretched its advantage to 69-58 early in the third after back-to-back 3-pointers from Mike Conley and Karl-Anthony Towns. Late in the third, Alexander-Walker hit his fourth 3-pointer of the quarter for a 95-73 lead.

The Wolves were also dominant on the glass, finishing with a 50-28 rebounding advantage.

Six Minnesota players scored in double figures. Towns finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds while Alexander-Walker scored 16.

The listless Suns could never cut the deficit to single digits in the fourth. Now they’re one loss away from what would be a bitterly disappointing season after entering the year with championship aspirations.

Phoenix’s Josh Okogie was ejected late in the fourth after a hard foul on Gobert.

The Timberwolves led 59-53 at the halftime break following a competitive first half. Edwards led the Wolves with 16 points while Durant had 14 for the Suns. Eric Gordon gave Phoenix a spark with 10 points in the first quarter, but it was short lived.

The Suns played without starting guard Grayson Allen, who led the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage this season. Allen’s dealing with a sprained ankle from Game 1 that he aggravated in Game 2.