After the huge disappointment of Game 3 where the Wolves ended up bowing after counting up to 26 points in advance, we wondered how the gang of Chris Finch would react in the fourth set on Saturday. Quite quickly, the Wolves showed their ability to turn the page and this time, they did not crack.
For the small home score box, it’s here
Minnesota fans can already book the evening of April 29, as there will be a game scheduled at Target Center that day. The series between the Wolves and the Grizzlies will indeed return to Minneapolis in a few days, regardless of the Game 5 scenario. Because now, we are on a best-of-three series after the very big success won last night by Karl-Anthony Towns and his friends. 119-118, as the score indicates, it was a battle of 48 minutes, or rather three hours because we were still treated to a festival of fouls and free throws. We imagine that Grizzlies fans will not fail to highlight the 40 shots awarded to Wolves in this game against 25 for Memphis, except that we prefer to leave the unnecessary controversy on Twitter and focus on the reasons for this important success for Minnesota. First thing that cannot be missed is Towns’ reaction after his Game 3 wet firecracker. We’ll focus on the guy to really go into detail on his performance because he deserves it, but we have to say that KAT was aggressive from start to finish to do a very big job: 33 points, 14 rebounds, 8/17 shooting, 14/17 throwing, and about 350 fouls caused. This is the KAT we want to see, even if he still had some WTF moments (6 turnovers) like when he forces himself to take a rebound when he has no one next to him, all that to… set foot on the sidelines in the middle of a close money-time match. Fortunately for him, it was of no consequence and we will forgive him this dumpling given all that he gave all evening.
At his side, many of them have step-ups well enough to prevent this victory from going to the Memphis side. Anthony Edwards has taken another step on our love scale by compiling parking lot shots and inspired penetrations. We all freaked out at the start of the game when Ant-Man went to the locker room for a knee problem, but he came back fresh as a roach to release a very complete performance on both sides of the field (24 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists , 2 interceptions, 3 blocks) in support of the Chat. And what about… Jordan McLaughlin. The substitute point guard lived up to his name by bringing a very big boost from the bench, admirable through his activity and hyper precious with his four banderillas sent in just 14 minutes of play. It’s simple, Minnesota does not win this game without J-Mac, who simply equaled his scoring season record (16 points). You add to that a Pat Beverley on his little cloud (17 points, 4/6 from afar), a D’Angelo Russell in playmaking mode (7 assists) to compensate for a night off in scoring (10 points at 3/12 in shooting ), and a Jarred Vanderbilt as usual great in effort (12 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals) and you get a success that you really had to get against the Grizzlies who never gave up.
But aside from the attacking contributions that helped Wolves snatch the win, they were remarkable in their ability to limit the assaults of Ja Morant (11 points only in 13 shots, barely three free throws). With the work of Pat Bev and especially the collective work done by the Wolves to prevent Ja from finding his openings, the latter sometimes gave the impression of being simply absent. And when he wanted to be more aggressive, he felt the impact of the opponent and struggled quite a bit due to a lack of rhythm, especially in the money time. So certainly, the phenomenon of Memphis was also hampered by faults and still took advantage of the attention of the opposing defense to release 15 caviar but for the moment, the Wolves manage to reduce its impact overall in this series. And that’s one of the reasons why we’re at 2-2 today. Another reason is the new foul problems of Jaren Jackson Jr., expelled after only 23 minutes on the ground (7 points, 6 rebounds). It’s not every day that you see these two in the rough like that. It is all the more regrettable for Memphis that Desmond Bane has again taken out the flamethrower (34 points, 11/18 shooting, 8/12 from distance), that Dillon Brooks shone (24 points) and that Brandon Clarke confirmed his very big Game 3 (15 points at 7/9 off the bench).
In the end, we were treated once again to a match in roller coaster mode with two teams that chained both runs and air pockets, two teams that can dazzle us on an action and then chain turnovers, in short two teams which show the strengths and weaknesses of a promising youth but which still has things to learn. Clearly, you have to have a strong heart in this series, especially since this Game 4 was marked by a new protest, thankfully without consequence thanks to the real MVP of the night – the vigilante – who tackled in record time a woman who had decided to enter the field with potentially dangerous intentions. No frankly, we are really not at the end of our surprises.
When it comes to maintaining a lead, the Wolves still have work to do, they who have sometimes chained errors to the con allowing Memphis to return to the game. But the victory is there, and that’s the main thing. Two everywhere ball in the center, everyone goes back to Tennessee for a boiling hot Game 5 on Tuesday.