PHOENIX – Even in the back hallways of Footprint Center, the chanting came through loud and clear.

"M-V-P. M-V-P."

Amid that backing chorus from visiting Timberwolves fans, Anthony Edwards made his way from the floor, where he received congratulations from his childhood hero Kevin Durant, to the Wolves locker room after the team won its first playoff series since 2004 with a 122-116 Game 4 victory over the Suns on Sunday night.

Edwards slapped several people high fives and then met Karl-Anthony Towns, who walked with him into the locker room. Later, they sat side-by-side for their postgame media obligations: Edwards the young budding superstar who took down his hero for his playoff series victory, and Towns, who finally saw his years of loyalty to the organization pay off.

"I couldn't be happier," Towns said. "I couldn't be happier, one about getting a win, finally getting the monkey off my back about getting through the first round. Playing with my man on my right, it makes it more special, to be able to do it with someone I got so much admiration for, so much respect for."

Before they went to the locker room, the rest of the team had piled in after visiting coach Chris Finch in a nearby medical room. Finch celebrated his first series victory as head coach while nursing what the team said was a torn right patellar tendon rupture he suffered after point guard Mike Conley collided with him late in the fourth quarter.

"He didn't want to see me at first," Conley said. "I walked in and he started to run away. He just tried to shoo me away."

In the locker room, there wasn't any champagne or any other celebratory beverage, but rather individual butter cakes and a large bucket of ice cream. On a white board, there was the number 12, to signify how many wins the Wolves have left to win a title, along with a poorly drawn broom. The Wolves will play the winner of the Nuggets-Lakers series in the second round; that series will start Saturday in Denver if the Nuggets win Monday night, otherwise it will start May 6.

The Wolves weren't going to set aside 20 consecutive years without a playoff series win the easy way. It was going to be hard, even after it seemed they had demoralized Phoenix in the first three games of the series. There was too much pride in players like Durant, who had 33 points, and Devin Booker, who had 49. The Suns hardly played like a team that had given up, and they still didn't have enough to beat the Wolves.

That's because Edwards delivered a performance that will go down in franchise history with 40 points, 31 of which came in the second half.

"I'm so impressed with Ant," Durant said. "My favorite player to watch. Just grown so much since he came into the league. His love for the game shines bright. . . . Love everything about Ant. Everything."

He buried seven of 13 three-point attempts. He dazzled a hostile crowd, taking its breath away each time he soared to the rim for multiple dunks in the fourth quarter. Edwards has been inconsistent throughout his career and this season when it comes to late-game offense. That wasn't the case at all Sunday.

"I was just ultra-aggressive, man," Edwards said. "The first half, I got all my teammates involved and that was pretty much the game plan. Get everybody involved and the second half, it's time to win at that point."

Edwards had 16 points in the fourth quarter. He broke a 107-107 tie with a three-pointer from the left corner with 4 minutes, 13 seconds to play. The Wolves never trailed again. Edwards had help Sunday from Towns, who played his best game of the series with 28 points and 10 rebounds. Edwards, with Towns sitting next to him, was blunt when giving his thoughts why Towns played as well as he did: Towns finally stayed out of foul trouble for the first time this series.

"I'm like, KAT, we not going to win Game 4 if you keep fouling and you keep fouling," Edwards said. "... Like I always tell you, he's the best offensive player on the team. If he's not in foul trouble, it's a problem for any team that got to guard us because … he can do everything. We just got to keep him from getting in foul trouble and he's gonna be great every night."

The Wolves overcame a cold shooting first half, when they shot just 38% and were down 61-56 at halftime.

Edwards was 2-for-8 and Towns was the only thing going offensively with 15 points.

“My favorite player to watch. Just grown so much since he came into the league. His love for the game shines bright. . . . Love everything about Ant. Everything.”
Kevin Durant on Anthony Edwards

But with Rudy Gobert battling foul trouble in the second half, the Wolves had to keep pace on the scoreboard with the Suns for the first time this series. Edwards and Towns rose to the occasion with 15 points and 11 points in the third quarter, respectively.

Then the Wolves thrived in an emotional fourth quarter. They answered every Phoenix punch and didn't get too emotional with the officiating, especially as Booker went to the free-throw line 21 times.

Jaden McDaniels pitched in 18 points, including a key three to put the Wolves up four with 3:25 to play. Then Edwards flew down the lane and through the air for a dunk with 2:14 to play, and that moment seemed to signal the end, even if there was still a lot of game left.

A lot happened in that time, like Finch needing help up and off the floor after Conley collided with him with 1:41 left. Assistant Micah Nori took over on the sideline afterward.

"I was mad as hell. I was mad," Edwards said about that sequence. "... But we had to finish the game, win the game. But for sure I was mad as hell."

BOXSCORE: Wolves 122, Phoenix 116

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After the game, Finch was carted out of Footprint Center and as he was, he passed by Edwards and his friends and family. They exchanged a few quick words as Finch told him to get home safe.

Their relationship has been a big reason why the Wolves are where they are now, and it was one Edwards said took some time to develop.

"Imma be honest. At first it was like, up and down," Edwards said of his relationship with Finch. "He don't want me doing this. He want me to do this. We fighting. Which is like a regular coach-player relationship. … But probably the end of my second year, going into those playoffs, we gained each other's trust. We took off ever since then."

Now they will see just how far they can go.