Dallas Mavericks Messed Up Giving Minnesota Timberwolves Their Confidence Back

NBA: Playoffs-Minnesota Timberwolves at Dallas Mavericks
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Facing a three game deficit entering Game 4 of the Western Conference finals, the Minnesota Timberwolves found their backs up against the wall. Rather than wilt they came out punching and took home a 105-100 victory. And the Dallas Mavericks may have made a grave mistake in giving Chris Finch’’s team confidence.

Having lost the first three games of this series by a combined 13 points, the Minnesota Timberwolves knew they were never out of this series. Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving had controlled the matchups through three games.

But Dallas’ margins of victory were ever so slim. After a Game 4 in which Minnesota controlled the tempo and felt like the better team all night, the air inside this series suddenly feels different. Now, if they can get a win back at Target Center, the Mavs and their fans would find their palms sweating a little bit.

Entering game 4, Kyrie Irving was a perfect 14-0 in closeout games. Not anymore. And now, the Timberwolves are just three wins away from making the history that point guard Mike Conley said they would.

Minnesota Timberwolves leave Dallas with confidence

22-year-old Anthony Edwards, who was mic’d up again for all of game 4, was back to being his affable postgame self, praising (and clowning) teammates at every turn. You want a game 5 guarantee?

He gave you that too, telling reporters that he’s already promised Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons, who was sitting courtside, that he’d bring him some AE1’s when he returns to Texas for game 6.

If you haven’t noticed by now, Edwards’ shoes are having something of a moment, and Dallas Cowboys star defensive player Micah Parsons was rocking them during the game. Now, he’ll have a brand new pair for game 6.

Anthony Edwards loves Mike Conley… but not his fit

Anthony Edwards took the microphone postgame and made sure to talk (and make jokes) about the leader of his offense, and elder statesman of the group, Mike Conley, but it wasn’t lost on Ant or any of his other teammates just how important the veteran with ugly pants is to what the Wolves already have and still can accomplish.

It was clear, when Conley missed a game vs the Denver Nuggets, that Minnesota needs him. Luckily, his calf has held up (for the most part) since because remains a foundational part of the lineup.

This postseason, the confidence shown by the Minnesota Timberwolves has resulted in more than a handful of big checks being written. But the one they want to write most, was when Conley suggested to reporters after game 3 that the Timberwolves were going to make history and be the first ever NBA team to come back and win a series where they trailed 3-0.

Give Karl-Anthony Towns his Flowers

Karl-Anthony Towns had forgotten to show up for the first three games of this series and was facing a significant ding on his time with the Timberwolves for it. The second half of Game 4 found him getting into the action, and his three-point prowess showed up in a big way.

Nailing 4-of-5 while hitting 9-of-13 from the field, Finch’s stretch four poured in 25 points. Shaquille O’Neal suggested that meant the crew had to go back to a cold Minnesota, but with temps in the 70’s on Thursday he’s probably been poisoned by a Draymond Green level of confusion.

Towns had 20 points in the second half on Tuesday with 12 of them coming from deep. While he didn’t hit the eight projected by Edwards, he was a catalyst for Minnesota coming out on top. Charles Barkley talked about how Towns’ early shots all came in the paint, and sometimes that’s all it takes for your game to open up. Having not attempted a deep ball in the first half, Towns struggled to miss from there when it mattered most.

Related: Mike Conley Tells Jon K. That He’s About to Cover NBA History

Regardless of what sort of personal trash gets written about him, Karl-Anthony Towns continues to keep his head down, and Tuesday night he saved the Timberwolves season. How that performance can be parlayed from here remains to be seen, but a victory at Target Center would be a good place to start.

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