In a sea of delirium on the Target Center floor after the Timberwolves' 109-104 victory over the Clippers, Patrick Beverley, who was down to his undershirt, found Anthony Edwards.

The two shared a long, hard hug and at the end of it they bounded together in glee over toward the bench.

Edwards, who had 30 points in the biggest game of his young career, flexed and yelled for the crowd. Beverley sat back down on the bench and was in tears. He then got up, went to hug his family and later drank a tall Bud Light as he gave his postgame remarks alongside Edwards.

"Man, I wanted this so bad," Beverley said. "I wanted this one so bad."

Everything that derailed this Wolves team in the past – foul trouble from Karl-Anthony Towns, complaints about the officiating, a fourth-quarter surge from an experienced, playoff-tested opponent – didn't on Tuesday night.

As the clock ticked away on the victory, Beverley chucked the ball high into the air, starting the party at Target Center on the Wolves' second playoff berth since 2004. They will play Game 1 in Memphis on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

"Couldn't have been more proud of the guys," said a drenched coach Chris Finch, who might have gotten a water bath or two postgame. "It's an emotional win for us. We laid it all out there. We fought through a lot of adversity, but we kept fighting. Every time it looked like the game was about to get away from us, we just kept hanging in there, making enough plays."

They had to make them without their best player on the floor for the final 7 minutes, 34 seconds.

D'Angelo Russell picked a fine time to have his best moment in a Wolves uniform with 29 points on 10-for-18 shooting. Russell has received some flack from fans and media for his propensity to sit for games at a time, and for his inconsistency when he plays.

On Tuesday he showed up when the Wolves needed him most.

"It's almost like faith, you know?" Russell said. "You've got your own faith, but when it comes to being a professional, you've got to trust your craft. There's going to be ups, there's going to be downs, whatever, but if you trust it and you commit to it and lock in, it comes back, it returns the favor."

Edwards was right there with him at 10-for-21. He scored the first seven points of the night as the Wolves got off to a nightmarish offensive start in the first quarter. He attacked when the team needed him to and his jumper was working (5-for-11 from three-point range).

"They were scared to guard me," Edwards said. "And I took advantage of that.

In between sips of his beer, Beverley, who had seven points and 11 rebounds, couldn't help but gush about Edwards.

"No one can guard him," Beverley said. "I've been telling him that all year. I don't care who plays on him. I've done seen the best defensive guys. I'm one of the best defensive guys on earth. No one can guard him. I just keep preaching that to him and he's been doing it all season. … This is his moment. He deserves all of it. This is his moment."

Together, Russell, Edwards and Beverley helped the Wolves overcome Towns' foul trouble and the potential emotional meltdown that has come with it in the past.

BOXSCORE: Wolves 109, L.A. Clippers 104

Towns wore his emotions on his sleeve with every foul call. The Clippers just have his number. They had long bodies they could throw at him at any point on the floor. Finch said before the game he was expecting "wrestling matches" between Towns and the Clippers frontcourt.

They finally pinned him to the bench.

"To be honest, it wasn't KAT's game," Finch said.

After Towns picked up his fifth foul in the third quarter, he had some choice words for the officials for those that could hear around the Wolves bench. Russell, seated on an exercise bike nearby, told him to "let it go." Towns finished with 11 points and five rebounds.

The Wolves moved on without him all throughout the night.

Shortly after Towns picked up his fourth foul In the second quarter, they went on a run after play stopped for the removal of a protester who attempted to glue herself to the floor. The woman was attempting to protest an egg farm owned by Wolves and Star Tribune owner Glen Taylor.

The fans and Wolves were reeling emotionally at that moment, which brought a different energy in the arena. Oddly, it seemed to calm everyone down, and the Wolves outscored the Clippers 14-6 the rest of the half. Russell had 14 points in the second.

"He was awesome," Finch said. "He got us kickstarted there in the second quarter with a lot of really smart play. Kind of calmed us down, made big shots, got the ball moving."

In the fourth quarter, the Wolves needed to go more than seven minutes without Towns while down 93-86. They have had bigger comebacks in terms of points this season, but none with the stakes as high.

Edwards took the ball to the rim with abandon. Russell hit a huge pull-up three, a shot he has struggled with at times, to put them ahead 97-95 with 4:40 to play.

"He hadn't made that pullup three in a long time, but we never really told him to not take it," Finch said. "We wanted him to stay confident. He actually surprised me a little bit that he took it."

When the defense parted and Edwards soared for an uncontested dunk with 4:02 to play, the Wolves and the fans could really feel it. They didn't relinquish the lead once they got it again.

Russell and Edwards provided the offense. The whole team provided the defense.

"Tonight was all about the defense," Finch said. "It was outstanding. Executed the game plan to perfection. We were the more physical team, and that's what we set out to be."

Before the season, they set out to be a playoff team. As Beverley said, not many gave them a chance to be one. But here they are, headed to Memphis.

"I told you we was going to the playoffs," Beverley said. "Y'all looked at me like I was crazy."