The Minnesota Timberwolves evened their first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies with a heartbreaking 119-118 win in Game 4 at Minneapolis on Saturday night. The series will now return to Memphis with things tied at 2-2.

Karl-Anthony Towns was the story of Game 4, making amends for a disappointing effort in the previous game by scoring 33 points and 14 rebounds on 8-for-17 shooting while shooting 14-for-17 from the free throw line. Anthony Edwards returned from a brief injury in the first quarter to add 24 points on 4-for-8 shooting from 3 points.

Desmond Bane kept Memphis afloat for much of the night as several Grizzlies dealt with foul trouble, finishing with a game-high 34 points on 8-of-12 3-point shooting. Dillon Brooks added 24 points while Ja Morant struggled from the field for most of the night but finished with 11 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds.

Here are some takeaways from Saturday’s game, along with a recap of our live updates.

The villages recover

Hardly any star in these playoffs has endured as much criticism as Towns after his baffling performance in Game 3, in which he scored just eight points on four field goal attempts and committed five fouls. He needed to answer on Saturday, and boy did he ever do.

Towns came out aggressive from the jump, refusing to settle for jump shots and dipping into the lane for free throws. Wolves coach Chris Finch said afterward that Towns played “angry and relaxed.” The most free throws Towns had attempted in a playoff game was eight, and more than doubled that in Game 4.

Trending on Canadian News  COVID-19, Israel-Gaza war fueled anti-Semitism globally in 2021, report says

These weren’t empty calorie numbers, either, as Towns did much of his damage late after the Grizzlies rallied. He scored 13 points in the fourth quarter on 4-for-5 shooting and made two decisive free throws with 4.4 seconds left.

The Timberwolves should be pleased with the performance they got from their star on Saturday, and it could give the team some momentum when they return to Memphis for Game 5.

Hard night for Ja

Coming in with a career playoff scoring average of 27.8 points, Morant seemed bewildered for most of the night when it came to creating his own offense. He did a great job as a facilitator with 15 assists, but the lanes he normally finds to the basket just weren’t there, and when he got to the rim, he struggled to finish through Minnesota’s athleticism and length.

“I’m not Ja right now,” Morant he said after the game. “I’m not playing above the rim.”

In addition to his scoring struggles, Morant also had foul trouble for most of the night, leading him to play only 33 minutes (he played 40 minutes in Game 3). The Wolves also attacked him relentlessly at the other end, as they have for most of the series, sapping Morant’s energy and creating foul trouble.

Like Towns, Morant will be looking to bounce back in front of his home crowd in Game 5.

JMac out of the blue

We’ve seen it time and time again in the playoffs. You take stars into account, but there are usually one or two role players in each game that make a difference. On Saturday, that player was Timberwolves backup guard Jordan McLaughlin, who scored 16 points on 4-of-4 3-point shooting in just 14 minutes. His buckets also came in the big moments, like this 3-pointer in the fourth quarter after the Grizzlies cut the lead to five points.

Trending on Canadian News  Timeline and everything we know about the disappearance of mom missing for six days.

It’s no secret that Minnesota relies on its three stars (Towns, Edwards and D’Angelo Russell) for most of its scoring, but the key contributions have come off the bench all year. In a game as close as Saturday night, McLaughlin’s 16 points were absolutely crucial.




Reference-www.cbssports.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.