LOS ANGELES – The Timberwolves are 11-5 since Karl-Anthony Towns went out because of knee surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus, and entering the last four games of the season, they are in control of their fate to grab the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

If the Wolves can beat Denver in a showdown Wednesday, they just have to win two of their other games to get the one seed, based on the various tiebreakers that would work among them, Oklahoma City and Denver.

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For the Wolves to reach this point without Towns, they have needed Anthony Edwards to shoulder even more of the offensive burden, and Edwards has been up to the task on most nights. He has averaged 25.3 points per game since Towns went out along with 6.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists.

If there is an area where Edwards has impressed his teammates and grown since Towns has been out, it's in his decisionmaking and playmaking.

After Sunday's win over the Lakers, coach Chris Finch lauded Edwards for making the right decision with the ball almost every time.

"Anthony was outstanding," Finch said. "Everything he did, he made the right play, all night long. Got to his spots with decisiveness. His passing was on time, on target. Everybody benefited from it."

After the game, Edwards was asked a question about his improved playmaking, and seated next to him at his locker was Mike Conley, who overheard the question and gave a menacing stare to Edwards as he attempted an answer.

"He the big reason why though," Edwards said of Conley. "He pretty much comes to me and tells me, 'Man, it'd be a lot easier if you made the easy read.' Throughout the whole game, it's going to lighten up. Him, Slo Mo [Kyle Anderson] and Finchy, they do a great job of letting me know the reads are there."

Edwards is only averaging 0.3 more assists than when Towns was playing, but his decisionmaking leads to more than assists. He has helped spur the ball movement that has been a frequent feature of the Wolves offense since Towns went out. When teams bring extra attention to him, he is passing the ball, and while he may not get an assist, his initial choice to pass can lead to an open shot a few passes later. This is how Naz Reid ended up with 31 points on Sunday.

"I keep telling him and pushing him to understand that even though he wants to score and he will score, when a team puts two, three, four guys on him, this is the highest form of respect," center Rudy Gobert said. "For him to be able to make that play early, the easy pass, it takes our team to another level. He gives everyone confidence. We have a lot of guys that can score, a lot of guys that can shoot."

Edwards responded last season when Towns went out and elevated his game to a new level, earning his first All-Star appearance. He has done it again this season, even if his shooting has trailed off of late. The challenge now will be to reincorporate Towns into what the Wolves have been doing. Ball movement was more inconsistent when Towns played, and the Wolves had the 18th most efficient offense. In the last 15 games, the Wolves are 14th.

"I've been able to see it all four years, especially how much better [Edwards] has gotten," Reid said. "Just from a mindset standpoint, from an all-around standpoint, he's been tremendous, man."