The seventh-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves are on the road for a pivotal matchup in Game 5 of their best-of-seven first-round series against the second-seeded Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night.
The Timberwolves won 119-118 to level the series at two games apiece, heading back on the road. The Grizzlies performed admirably in their second game in Minnesota but fell short.
This matchup between these two conference foes has been electric and one to watch; that being said, Game 5 will be critical in winning this series overall. Memphis comes into this matchup as a 6.5-point home favorite in this game.
Minnesota Timberwolves’ Win in Game 4 Ties Series at Two
Minnesota evened the series by slugging their way to a Game 4 victory at home after losing Game 2 in a blowout and Game 3 after blowing a 26-point lead.
If the Timberwolves want to move to the second round, they’ll need at least a second win in Bluff City. Minnesota led Memphis by five points after the first quarter, 15 points in the first half, and didn’t look back from there.
Minnesota made 47.3 percent of their shots from the field, including 18 of 36 from three-point range and 31 of 40 free throws. In the victory, Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves with 33 points and 14 rebounds.
Minnesota is 9th in the league in scoring offense in the postseason, averaging 110 points per game. The Timberwolves are ranked eighth in rebounding with 40.3 rebounds per game and eighth in assists with 23 assists per game.
On the offensive end, Karl-Anthony Towns is averaging a double-double (21.3 points, 10.8 rebounds), while their other leader D’Angelo Russell has chipped in 13.3 points per game, and Anthony Edwards has added 24.8 points. They’ll look to keep slugging it out with Memphis in order to win the series.
Minnesota has struggled on the defensive end, ranking 15th in scoring defense with 115.8 points allowed per game.
They’ve allowed Ja Morant to have his way as a facilitator in this series, and they’ll need to lock him down to win, especially when they’re playing at FedExForum.
Memphis Grizzlies Looks To Take Series Lead at Home
The Grizzlies will try to protect their home court and seize a 3-2 series lead with a win at FedExForum. Memphis has started out slow in these games trailing by five points after the first quarter, 15 points in the second quarter, and four points at halftime in Game 4.
The Grizzlies came within a point of tying the game several times in the fourth quarter but couldn’t get even en route to a loss. Memphis made 48.8% of its shots from the field, including 15 of 32 from three-point range, but committed 17 turnovers. With 34 points, Desmond Bane led the Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies’ offense has been phenomenal this postseason as they are second in the league in scoring offense in the postseason, averaging 115.8 points per game. Memphis also ranks 5th in the league in rebounding, averaging 42.5 rebounds per game, and 4th in assists, averaging 26.8 per game.
Desmond Bane, who averages 23.3 points per game in the postseason, is the team’s leading scorer, while Ja Morant averages 20.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 10.8 assists.
The defensive side for the Grizzlies is a different story as they are in the middle of the pack on defense, ranking 9th in the league with an average of 110 points allowed per game.
They’ll need to start crashing the boards and playing strong in the paint if they want to fend off the Timberwolves in this one.
Timberwolves/Grizzlies Betting Prediction
Despite the fact that both teams have won on the opposite team’s floor in this series, Memphis rallied from a large hole to win Game 3 and came close to winning Game 4 despite the free throw difference between the teams.
Ja Morant has combined for 18 rebounds and 25 assists in the last two games and thrives playing at home, where he averaged 28 in the first two games. Despite back-to-back subpar scoring performances by their superstar, the Grizzlies are a whisker away from a 3-1 series lead, demonstrating Memphis’ rotational depth. Expect the Grizzlies to take advantage of it and win this game.
Memphis will comfortably win and cover if the refs call the game evenly. They’ve won 11 of their last 13 home games and just lost by one point two days ago, surrendering 40 free throws in the process. They’ve also covered the spread in six of their previous seven games against Minnesota.
Betting Pick: Memphis -6
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