The Timberwolves won Game 1 of their first-round playoff series 120-95, holding the Suns well under their scoring average of 116.2 points per game.

In Game 2, the Suns would be the more desperate team, and would have seen the Wolves' best defensive plan against their three star scorers, Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal.

What we saw in the first seven Suns possessions was a smothering defensive effort from the Wolves that led to a 105-93 victory.

The Wolves harassed the Suns near the midcourt line, fought through screens, played intuitive help defense, sprinted to contest shots, allowed the Suns zero offensive rebounds and committed zero fouls.

Possession 1: Beal passes to Grayson Allen. Wolves guard Mike Conley presses Allen near midcourt. Allen passes to Jusuf Nurkic, who is guarded closely by Wolves center Rudy Gobert.

Allen cuts to the baseline and sets a pick on center Karl-Anthony Towns, who was covering Durant. Durant comes off the screen near the free-throw line. Conley switches and harasses Durant into a miss.

"Part of it is just being up on them and being physical," Conley said. "We want to make everything difficult, to contest, get in the passing lanes, contest shots, have active hands.

"We've tried to condition ourselves that way to where we can do that and still be able to run on the offensive end, still have our legs."

2: Allen brings the ball up to find forward Jaden McDaniels and Gobert waiting at midcourt. Allen passes to Nurkic, who gets the ball to Beal. Conley switches onto the much-taller Nurkic. Gobert takes Beal near the free-throw line.

Nurkic rolls to the rim. Guard Anthony Edwards switches onto him, freeing Conley to sprint at Booker at the three-point line. Booker misses badly.

"We're still learning," Conley said. "It takes a whole season to learn each other, to learn different adjustments, and a lot of the stuff we do is not part of the game plan. It's communicating and talking and doing it on the fly. It takes a lot of trust and commitment to that side of the ball and I've been happy with the way we've adjusted so far."

3: Booker speed-dribbles upcourt and drives hard at Edwards, who is waiting at the free-throw line. Edwards steers Booker to Booker's left. Booker loses the ball out of bounds.

Effort or game-planning? "It's concentration on the game plan, for sure," Wolves coach Chris Finch said. "And the effort's got to be there at this time of the year."

4. Allen brings the ball up with Conley contesting. Allen gives up the ball and puts a physical pick on McDaniels, who throws him aside.

Gobert helps on Booker as McDaniels fights through the screen. With Gobert occupied, Nurkic rolls to the open lane. McDaniels cuts off Booker as Gobert retreats to catch up with Nurkic, who has been covered by the helping Towns.

Booker passes to Allen, who passes to Durant cutting off a Beal screen. Durant tries to beat Towns off the dribble, settles for a midrange jumper and misses.

Effort, game-planning or defensive talent? "I think it's all of the above," said guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker. "It takes defensive talent, it takes effort, it takes guys paying attention to the game plan."

5. Beal brings the ball across midcourt with Edwards on him and Gobert helping. Beal drives hard to the rim. Gobert cuts him off. Beal tries a difficult pass to Nurkic. Edwards tips it, and Gobert collects it.

Finch credited a deep, talented coaching staff, saying assistant coach Elston Turner leads the defensive game-planning. "ET does an amazing job pulling it all together, setting the tone," Finch said.

6. The Wolves again contest outside the three-point line. Gobert presses Nurkic, who throws a bad pass to Booker. Towns grabs it, making it three turnovers in six possessions for Phoenix.

"It goes into everyone locking in and paying attention to detail," Alexander-Walker said. "It's going to require mental effort, physical effort and readiness."

7. Gobert meets Nurkic outside the three-point line. Nurkic hands to Booker, who is chased by McDaniels. Booker drives right and passes to Durant. Durant throws a shoulder into Towns and takes a fadeaway jumper, missing.

In seven possessions, the Suns missed three long two-point shots and a contested three-pointer and turned the ball over three times.

"We're going to get their biggest effort yet, coming out of the gates," Finch said of Game 3. "So we're going to have to keep doing it."