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Timberwolves had solid defensive performance against Mavs



Timberwolves had solid defensive performance against Mavs

Whereas he confirmed up for the primary time on this sequence on Tuesday, Minnesota ahead Karl-Anthony Cities determined to pause to pay homage to the Timberwolves’ protection for his or her sterling efficiency in opposition to the Dallas Mavericks.

It was that stern protection which was the backdrop to the Timberwolves’ gorgeous 105-100 victory over the Mavs in Recreation 4 of this best-of-seven Western Convention Finals.

“I simply love the aggression we performed with,” Cities stated. “You might inform we had that desperation. That makes us particular.

“(We had been) taking part in with a lot power on protection, making these rotations, and (making) the performs wanted to win.”

One sport after the Mavs shot a scorching 55.9 p.c from the ground on Sunday to take a commanding 3-0 lead on this sequence, the Timberwolves held Kyriethem to only 42 p.c taking pictures in Recreation 4. And after the Mavs transformed half of their three-pointers (14-of-28 for 50 p.c) in Recreation 3, they had been solely 14-of-40 on pictures from downtown for 35 p.c in Recreation 4.

“The numbers converse for themselves,” Cities stated. “We confirmed up defensively (Tuesday) in opposition to a extremely nice group and did the issues we wanted to do to win the sport.”

Cities personally broke out of his collective shell and picked up 25 factors. And he was actually cooking as he made 9-of-13 pictures, together with 4-of-5 three-pointers after transformed solely 3-of-22 from downtown within the earlier three video games on this sequence.

In the meantime, Mavs guard Luka Dončić and Kyrie Irving took turns blaming themselves for a sport the Mavs – if profitable – would have closed out the sequence with a four-game sweep and given them extra ample time to relaxation earlier than they battle the Boston Celtics within the NBA Finals.

“I believe that sport is on me,” stated Dončić, who was simply 7-of-21 from the sphere. “Simply didn’t give sufficient power, sort of. So, we received to do higher.”

A number of minutes later within the postgame press convention, Irving stated of Dončić: “He’s not alone on this. I count on him to say one thing like that, particularly realizing how a lot he cares and the way a lot he desires to win and the way a lot he desires to guide our group.KAT

“So, I count on nothing much less. I believe you heard me, too, simply say that it’s on me. That’s what you’re supposed to listen to out of your leaders of your group.”

Dončić collected his ninth profession playoff triple-double whereas ending with 28 factors, 15 rebounds and 10 assists, whereas Irving was simply 6-of-18 from the sphere and scored 16 factors. Both method, the Mavs nonetheless maintain a 3-1 lead on this sequence, which heads again to Minnesota for Recreation 5 on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.


Listed below are the three takeaways from the Timberwolves’ five-point win over the Mavs.

EDWARDS ALL BUSINESS: Following three so-so video games to open this sequence, Timberwolves All-Star guard Anthony Edwards appeared like he was all enterprise in Recreation 4. Edwards exploded for 14 of the 27 factors the Timberwolves scored within the first quarter and simply saved on ticking whereas narrowly lacking a tripleHardy-double. Edwards scored a game-high 29 factors, grabbed 10 rebounds and distributed 9 assists. He additionally was 11-of-25 from the sphere — together with 2-of-5 from three-point vary — and buried the dagger three-pointer which gave the Timberwolves a 103-97 lead with solely 38.8 seconds remaining within the sport.

HARDY PARTY: Mavs second-year guard Jaden Hardy had his personal coming-out occasion in Recreation 4. After placing the Timberwolves on a platter, Hardy completed the night time with 13 factors in simply 12 workmanlike minutes. Of the mixed eight reserves from each groups that performed Tuesday, Hardy had extra factors than any of them. He was an environment friendly 5-of-8 from the sphere and 3-of-4 from past the three-point stripe. And simply to showcase how excessive he can fly, one time within the second half Hardy drove via visitors and completed with a robust dunk. Certainly, he was essentially the most constant participant off the bench in Recreation 4.

MAVS MISSED LIVELY: The absence of Mavs backup middle Dereck Energetic II was noticeable in Recreation 4. The rookie from Duke is likely one of the Mavs’ power gamers who scores, rebounds and blocks pictures with the most effective of them. Energetic, nevertheless, sat out Recreation 4 after struggling a neck sprain in Recreation 3 when — whereas falling to the courtroom — the again of his head made contact with Karl-Anthony Cities’ proper knee. In Recreation 3, the Mavs outscored the Timberwolves within the paint, 50-40. In Recreation 4, the Timberwolves outscored the Mavs within the paint, 46-36. The presence of Energetic probably would have altered these numbers.

X: @DwainPrice

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