NBA Finals: Minnesota Timberwolves beat Dallas Mavericks in Game 4

If Minnesota win the playoff series, they will become the first team in NBA history to advance after trailing 3-0.

The Minnesota Timberwolves stay alive in the NBA Western Conference finals, riding on Anthony Edwards’ game-high 29 points and Karl-Anthony Towns’s long-range shooting form for a 105-100 victory over the host Dallas Mavericks in Game 4.

With their first win in the best-of-seven series on Tuesday night, the Timberwolves earned a Game 5 at home on Thursday night, hoping to blaze a trail to become the first team in NBA history to rally and advance after trailing 3-0 in a playoff series.

Winning the series was not on the team’s radar in Game 4, Edwards insisted afterwards.

“We just wanted to get one game and extend the series,” he said.

“I’ve never been swept in my career. I didn’t want to get swept. Not on their home court, hearing their fans talk trash all day.”

Luka Doncic posted a 28-point, 15-rebound, 10-assist triple-double for the fifth-seeded Mavericks, who won the first two games of the series in a previous trip to Minneapolis.

After Minnesota led by 12 early on, the teams battled on even terms for the first 18-plus minutes of the second half, with Towns’s 3-pointer with 5:41 remaining giving the Timberwolves a 92-90 lead.

The visitors never trailed again, thanks in large part to Towns, whose 3-pointer on Minnesota’s next possession made it a five-point game.

Anthony Edwards drops a near-triple-double as the @Timberwolves force Game 5 in the Western Conference Finals!

Karl-Anthony Towns: 25 PTS (9-13 FGM), 5 REB, 4 3PM
Mike Conley: 14 PTS, 7 AST, 4 STL
Luka Doncic: 28 PTS, 15 REB, 10 AST

Game 5: Thursday (5/30), 8:30pm/et, TNT

— NBA (@NBA) May 29, 2024

Doncic takes the blame

Dallas’s best chance to draw even down the stretch came when Doncic misfired on a 3-pointer with the hosts trailing 95-92 with 3:18 to go.

When Towns connected again from beyond the arc with 2:54 to go, and Edwards followed with a bank shot in the lane 67 seconds later, the Timberwolves had broken things open at 100-92.

“That was on me,” Doncic said. “[I] didn’t give enough energy.”

A desperate 3-pointer by Doncic as he was being fouled with 13.2 seconds left kept the Mavericks alive at 103-100, but Doncic missed the subsequent free throw.

After a timeout, Naz Reid got behind the Dallas defence for a game-clinching layup with 11.3 seconds remaining.

“We’d never lost three in a row until earlier in the playoffs. We’ve never lost four in a row,” Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said.

“The guys responded. Fun team to coach because they always believe they can win, no matter what.”

The Timberwolves had been outscored 10-3, 6-0 and 14-3, respectively, at the end of the first three games en route to three-, one- and nine-point losses.

They are now 3-0 in potential elimination games this postseason.

Things were tied at 49 at the break, with Edwards and Doncic each leading their respective teams with 17 points. Minnesota were up 78-73 heading into the fourth quarter.

“They won one game,” Doncic said. “We’ve got to focus on the next one.”

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