The Minnesota Timberwolves anticipated to take a 2-1 series lead over the second-seeded Memphis Grizzlies when they arrived at Target Center, but they gave up two consecutive 20-point leads in the same game.
Karl Anthony-Towns is facing a barrage of criticism from fans and the media as a result of his inability to perform in two consecutive games as the Timberwolves’ franchise cornerstone.
The Grizzlies continue to show why they are one of the most resilient teams in the league after another comeback and surprising victory.
The Memphis Grizzlies are -3 point road favorites in this contest; that being said, let’s take a look at what to expect in Game 4 of the series.
Memphis Grizzlies Played Complete Game in Dominating Win in Game 2
The Memphis Grizzlies attempt to extend their 2-1 series advantage after a thrilling 26-point comeback victory in Game 3.
In Game 3, the Grizzlies were getting thrashed by the Timberwolves, who led by 16 points after three quarters and established a 26-point advantage at one point.
However, the Grizzlies’ pride kicked in, and they put on a show in the fourth quarter, outscoring Minnesota 37-12 to win 104-95. Ja’ Morant picked up a triple-double, and Desmond Bane led Memphis in scoring with 26.
Memphis labored terribly for the first three quarters, shooting only 42% from the field, but they caught fire in the fourth. Desmond Bane led the way with 26 points on seven three-pointers, while Brandon Clarke contributed 20 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
Memphis had a significant rebounding advantage over Minnesota, outrebounding them 48-41 overall and 13-9 on the offensive boards. However, they struggled from the foul line, making only 20 of 31 attempts. In the regular season, they were 28th from the line, so that may be an issue.
The Grizzlies will have to dig deep and find a reason to equal the Timberwolves’ frantic energy in the first quarter, something they’ve failed to do in all three games. Memphis, fortunately, has been able to recover from an early hole in two of their last three games.
Minnesota Timberwolves Look to Overcome Bad Game Three Loss
After relinquishing a 26-point lead at home, a loss like that can serve as a wake-up call the Timberwolves needed, or it could completely devastate them and lead them into a downward spiral.
Minnesota led by 26 points in the second quarter and then by 25 points late in the third. But Memphis stormed back into the game with a 19-2 run to start the fourth quarter.
The Timberwolves were outscored 37-12 in the fourth quarter and shot a dismal 15.8% in the fourth quarter and 38.8% for the game. D’Angelo Russell had a good game with 22 points and eight assists, while Anthony Edwards had 19 points and seven rebounds.
Karl Anthony Towns received much of the blame after he had a poor day, scoring only eight points and grabbing only five rebounds. Towns was in serious trouble the entire contest, and his absence was a key cog in the loss to the Grizzlies.
The trio of Edwards, Russell, and Towns will be the ones to watch in this matchup. These three combined are capable of outplaying the entire Grizzlies team; the only problem has been their lack of consistency.
This is a strong offensive unit, and look for a relentless attack on Memphis’ defense to get them back in the series in crunch time.
Timberwolves/Grizzlies Pick and Prediction
In one way or another, all three of these games have been blowouts, but now that it’s crunch time, I see this one going down to the wire. After Thursday’s humiliating loss, Minnesota will undoubtedly come out with fresh zeal and poise, and Memphis will have to match that intensity.
These two teams split four games during the regular season, and I believe they will be tied 2-2 in this series by the end of Saturday. However, even if the Grizzlies win, it will be in the final seconds and by three points or less.
Coming off back-to-back awful losses in Games 2 and 3, Edwards and Russell must have that relentless ability of not wanting to go home early and continually being aggressive and attacking this Memphis defense. With home-court advantage, I think the Timberwolves even up the series.
Betting Pick: Timberwolves +3
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