For Timberwolves point guard Patrick Beverley, Tuesday’s play-in tournament win against the Clippers was personal.
Beverley — who spent four years with Los Angeles before he was dealt to the Grizzlies last August — was brought to tears after forcing a late turnover for a 109-104 win that punched the T’Wolves’ ticket to the playoffs. It is the first playoff appearance for Minnesota since 2018.
In the immediate aftermath of the win, Beverley hopped up on the scorer’s table near the Clippers bench and started celebrating, shouting into the home crowd as LA looked on. Then he tossed his jersey into the crowd and ran around the court.
“Take they ass home,” Beverley said of what he told his former teammates while celebrating after regulation.
“Long flight to LA Take them ass home. It’s deeper than that for me. I gave my blood and sweat and tears to that organization. You guys know the story.”
The point guard, who has become one of Minnesota’s most impactful players in his first year with the team, hugged his mother, Lisa, on the court. His jump onto the scorers table was similar to what T-Wolves legend Kevin Garnett did after he led them to the Western Conference finals in 2004.
The celebrations continued in the locker room, where Beverley — who the Timberwolves extended in February — cussed out his former team.
Weak ass Clippers. Beat they motherf–kin’ ass,” Beverley said on Instagram live.
In the postgame press conference, Beverley got emotional, elaborating on what the victory meant to him.
“Blood, sweat and tears, to just be written off like that, ‘He’s injury-prone. He’s old.’ This, this, that, that. To be able to come here and play them in a play-in and beat they ass, no other feeling, man. No other feeling,” Beverley said after the game.
“Man, I wanted this one so bad. This is just the icing on the cake, the cherry on top. Play-in, to be able to beat them … another goal scratched off. I told you we were going to the playoffs. Most of you all, y’all looked at me like I was crazy when I first said that. I f—ing told y’all.”
After the game, Beverley tweeted, “Told y’all,” with a bunch of wolf and heart emojis. “We are celebrating because MINNESOTA DESERVES THIS. A LOT OF PAIN THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS. BE HAPPY FOR US,” he wrote in a separate tweet.
Clippers forward Paul George wasn’t a fan of Beverley’s “antics,” in which he addressed in his postgame press conference.
“They got guys that are a little bit more confident. His energy and his persona, you know, rubbed off, they made an impact on that roster,” said George, who scored 34 points for Los Angeles in the loss. The Clippers will now face the winner of the Spurs-Pelicans play-in game for the eighth seed Wednesday.
“I know what it was coming into this game. I wasn’t going to allow Pat to do his antics and try to get me flustered. I knew it’s all for show. It’s for the crowd. Gets the crowd involved. I love it. I love it. I miss it. He did it on our side because it’s contagious. I think when he’s in that mode, it ignites the team, ignites the arena. You need energy guys like that.”
Beverley, though, was on a mission to upset his former team.
“I told you, Ant,” he said to Minnesota’s 2020 first-round pick, Anthony Edwards, who dropped 30 points in the win. “They didn’t believe me. We going to the playoffs, baby. They looked at me like I was crazy. They said, ‘Pat, you crazy!’”
Minnesota will play the second-seeded Grizzlies in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on Saturday.