As if the collapse of the last match had not existed. The Wolves started Game 4 as they started Game 3: with intensity and dominating the Grizzlies. Karl-Anthony Towns sets the tone. But the wave was less strong, with a 6-0 quickly cooled by Desmond Bane. The Memphis player is boiling and chains the baskets behind the arc. The room is not far from completely extinguished when Anthony Edwards joins the locker room, after only six minutes. The back hurt his knee, all by himself. Fortunately, he returns a few moments later.
The Wolves are in front (33-28) after a very long first quarter, cut by faults and weighed down by the waste of both teams. In the second quarter, the Wolves pass a 17-1 and the Grizzlies are not there. In three minutes, they find themselves at fifteen points. The latter respond with a 10-0 and Ja Morant scores four points, his first of the match, in the last seconds of the first period. Memphis is ultimately not dropped (60-56).
After the break, Anthony Edwards hurts the defense of Memphis, with his award-winning baskets. Again, Taylor Jenkins players do not bend. With an 8-0, they come back and still have a chance to win (93-87). They can believe it even more after a few good transitions in the last quarter and easy baskets near the circle. But Towns still has the right answer. Tyrus Jones will have an equalizer, with an open 3-point shot, but he misses. Not “KAT”, which ensures free throws and allows Minnesota to return to two everywhere (119-118).
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– The Grizzlies made too many mistakes. With six players with four or more faults, Memphis was weighed down by the whistles (33 faults). From Ja Morant to Jaren Jackson Jr. via Dillon Brooks, without forgetting Desmond Bane and Xavier Tillman, all of them have committed too many fouls, offensive and defensive. Either the coach had to take them out, or they lost their aggressiveness to avoid being punished too much. Above all, they thus offered 40 free throws to the troops of Chris Finch.
– The Wolves collective responded present. After the Game 3 nightmare, we were waiting to see Minnesota’s collective reaction. The Minneapolis players did not disappoint. The executives of course, even if D’Angelo Russell was less radiant than Towns and Edwards, but also the supporting roles. Patrick Beverley (17 points), Jarred Vanderbilt (12) or Jordan McLaughlin (16) each made important baskets.
– Memphis never knew how to overturn the table. The Grizzlies have never been dropped, but they have never made the Wolves fold either. Symbol of this match: Ja Morant, never completely bad, but never dominant. From start to finish, the Tennessee players were always in the reaction. When it was necessary to put the basket to pass in front, to make Wolves definitely doubt, they cracked.
✅ The Anthony Edwards – Karl-Anthony Towns duo. KAT is the logical MVP of this game with 33 points and 14 rebounds. His intensity, his aggressiveness set the tone and carried the Wolves at the start of the game. Everything has not yet been perfect for the interior, between useless faults and coarse lost balls, but at the end of the match, in addition to his rebounds, he made the baskets and the decisive free throws. A leader’s game. As for Edwards, he scared everyone with his knee alert, but his 13 points in the third quarter were invaluable. He did not force and finished with 24 points.
✅ Desmond Bane. Without him, Memphis would probably not have resisted in the first half. Insolent behind the arc, he scored 14 points in the first quarter, including 11 in the first five minutes. He threw his own perfectly, which didn’t really follow afterwards. He was 21 units at the break but the second period will be less successful. Bane will notably take three fouls after the break, but with 34 points at 8/12 at 3-pts, he was clearly the best player on his team.
⛔ Jaren Jackson Jr. 7 points, 6 rebounds and 6 fouls. The interior stats line reflects its performance well. Not enough impact and too many fouls. Transparent for the entire match, he only shone for a few seconds in the last quarter, with an award-winning basket and a counter in stride. But that was all. He must do a lot more.
⛔✅ Ja Morant. Difficult match to analyze for the playmaker. The negative is obviously his small 11 points at 4/13 to shoot and his four faults. He seemed withdrawn, less sharp than usual when he was well expected in the racket. The positive is his 8 rebounds and especially his 15 assists. Just (two loose balls), the All-Star did not want to force and played like a veteran, who was waiting for the right moment to strike. Except that never happened.
Game 5, played in Memphis, will take place on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday (01:30 French time).