18+ | Please play responsibly | Terms and Conditions apply | Commercial Content

NBA Playoffs: Timberwolves Avoid Sweep in Dallas

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) Game 4 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals, Tuesday, May 28, 2024, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Gareth Patterson)

The Minnesota Timberwolves avoided elimination on Tuesday night, defeating the Dallas Mavericks 105-100 in Game 4 on the road. The series will now shift back to Minnesota, where the Timberwolves will see if they can make things interesting by taking another game on their home floor.

Anthony Edwards top-scored for the Timberwolves with 29 points on 11-25 shooting, looking much more aggressive than in the previous three games in the series. He also had 10 rebounds and 9 assists, almost notching his first triple-double of the postseason.

The real difference however, came from Karl-Anthony Towns who scored 25 points on 9-13 from the floor, which included 4-5 from beyond the arc. Towns had been struggling with his shooting in the first three games of the series, hitting just 28% of his shots coming into Game 4.

All five starters for the Timberwolves managed to get to double figures, as the team shot a collective 52.7% from the floor. They were especially good from three, managing to go 11-24, compared to the Mav’s 14-40.

Luka Doncic once again had another solid performance, dropping 28 points to go with 15 rebounds and 10 assists in his sixth triple-double of these playoffs. Kyrie Irving, who had been hot in the previous three games, only managed 16 points on 6-18 shooting. It was the first time Irving had lost a closeout game in his career, breaking his streak of 14 straight wins.

The Mavs were without rookie center Dereck Lively II, who was out with a neck injury after Towns accidentally kneed him in the back of the head in Game 3. The blow was costly for Dallas who ended up being outrebounded by the Wolves 34-28.

Maxi Kleber, who has been out since May 3 with a separated shoulder, gave Dallas a much needed boost off the bench but only scored 2 points in his 13 minutes.  

The Wolves avoided becoming the 16th team out of 21 to get swept after losing the first three games of a series that began at home. They will now attempt to become just the fourth to force at least a Game 6.

Full Game Summary

Minnesota came out aggressive, with Edwards and Towns leading the way. They opened up a double digit lead at 20-10 and finished the first quarter up 27-20. Doncic and the Mavs fought back though in the second quarter, outscoring the Timberwolves 29-22 to have the game tied at 49 going into the break.

The second half saw both teams jostle for position, going fairly even going into the last 6 minutes of the 4th quarter. It should be noted that the Wolves have led in the final five minutes of every game in the series, but couldn’t convert in any of the first three.

This time it was Towns to the rescue, as the big-man dropped 3 clutch three-pointers to put his team ahead 6 points with three minutes to go. Dallas was able to pull within 3 again within the final minute, but Edwards hit a jumper from inside the arc with 39 seconds left to put his team back up 5.

Minnesota almost made a blunder of it when Edwards fouled Doncic on a made 3-pointer to cut the deficit to three with 12 seconds to go. Luckily for the Wolves, Doncic missed the free throw and Naz Reid hit a big-time bucket on rebound to put Minnesota back up 5 with 11 seconds left.

The Timberwolves were in foul trouble throughout the game, as Towns fouled out in the final minutes and Edwards and Rudy Gobert finished with 5. Going forward in the series, Minnesota will need to make adjustments to ensure their star players are on the floor when it counts down the stretch.

Game 5 is scheduled to be played at the American Airlines Center in Minnesota on Saturday night. A win for the Timberwolves would put a lot of pressure back on the Mavs who have looked like the better team so far in the series.