Minnesota Timberwolves avoid NBA playoffs sweep against Dallas Mavericks

Anthony Edwards’ unwavering positivity and impressive confidence played a crucial role in the Minnesota Timberwolves’ lone victory in the Western Conference finals. Edwards’ uplifting demeanor even had an impact on his teammate, Karl-Anthony Towns, who struggled offensively in the first three games but stepped up in the fourth. Thanks to Edwards’ leadership, the Timberwolves managed to avoid a sweep by defeating the Dallas Mavericks 105-100 in Game 4. Edwards himself contributed 29 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists, while Towns added 25 points to the scoreboard. This victory means that the Timberwolves now hold a 3-0 record in elimination games during the 2024 playoffs. As they head into Game 5 in Minneapolis, where the Mavs previously won the first two games, a win for Minnesota would create pressure for Dallas to close out the series at home in Game 6, as they would want to avoid a decisive Game 7 on the road.
Overcoming the challenge is no easy task. In the history of NBA playoffs, no team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a series. Only four teams that were down 3-0 have managed to force a Game 7.

However, before thinking about a potential Game 7, the Timberwolves had to focus on the task at hand.

Although it wasn’t a flawless performance for the Timberwolves, who committed 15 turnovers leading to 30 points for Dallas, Karl-Anthony Towns had his best game of the series. Prior to Game 4, Towns had struggled, shooting just 27.8% from the field and 13.6% on 3-pointers. But in the win, he went 9-for-13 from the field and 4-for-5 on 3-pointers. Towns came alive in the second half, scoring 20 points: 10 in the third quarter and 10 in the fourth.

The Timberwolves had a strong shooting night, hitting 52.7% of their field goals and 45.8% of their 3-pointers. When shots are falling, both individual players and the team as a whole appear much more impressive.

Crucially, the Timberwolves were able to hold onto their lead in the fourth quarter, something they had struggled with in the previous three games. A 3-pointer by Towns extended Minnesota’s lead to 98-92 with 2:54 remaining in the fourth, and Anthony Edwards sealed the victory with a 3-pointer of his own, giving the Timberwolves a 102-97 lead with 39.7 seconds left on the clock.
Despite the absence of injured All-Rookie center Dereck Lively II, the Mavs were led by All-NBA guard Luka Doncic, who recorded an impressive triple-double with 28 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists. However, the Minnesota team, known for its top-ranked defense during the regular season, managed to limit the Mavs to a 42% shooting percentage from the field and 35% from beyond the arc.