With their first spherical collection hanging within the stability, the Timberwolves landed a devastating haymaker on Thursday night time at Goal Heart.
On each events, the Memphis Grizzlies took it sq. on the chin, staggered to their toes, and went to work. That’s what true contenders do.
It’s clear the Timberwolves aren’t that. Not but. Not even shut
After main by as many as 26 factors within the first half, and as many as 25 factors within the second half, the Timberwolves proved they aren’t prepared for fulfillment in a crushing 104-95 loss.
The consequence helped the Grizzlies take a 2-1 lead within the collection. Not that it issues. This collection may over.
It’s arduous to think about the Timberwolves bouncing again from one thing like this.
They’ve little or no playoff expertise on the roster, and even worse, they’ve a star who can’t be trusted to remain on the ground.
This loss was an ideal instance of each of these issues.
Possibly the Timberwolves thought it was going to be simple after leaping out to a 12-0 lead within the first quarter. Possibly they thought the Grizzlies would go away when the scoreboard learn 47-21 early within the second quarter.
As an alternative, the Timberwolves obtained complacent, began taking unhealthy pictures, and the Grizzlies fought their method again into the sport.
After a 15-0 run to shut out the primary half, the Grizzlies had managed to chop the deficit to 51-44.
Shockingly, the Timberwolves responded to that bout of adversity by taking management of the sport as soon as once more early within the third quarter. They obtained some impressed play from D’Angelo Russell, who helped his teammates regain their composure along with his scoring and passing potential.
The scoreboard learn 83-62 in favor of the Wolves with 1:05 left within the third quarter. That’s when the Timberwolves as soon as once more confirmed their lack of expertise with some sloppy play that opened the door for the Grizzlies.
It shouldn’t come as a shock that the Grizzlies walked proper in. They mounted an unimaginable 21-0 run to tie the sport at 83-83 early within the fourth quarter. After a few free throws from Anthony Edwards helped cease the bleeding, Tyus Jones nailed a 3-pointer to make it 86-85, and the Grizzlies by no means trailed once more.
The shortcoming to carry on to an enormous lead in Recreation 3 exhibits the dearth of playoff expertise. That’s going to be a tricky tablet to swallow heading into Recreation 4.
The extra urgent problem for the Timberwolves, nevertheless, is that Karl-Anthony Cities as soon as once more got here up small when the lights obtained vivid. He battled foul bother for the umpteenth time this season and wasn’t on the ground when the Timberwolves wanted him most.
That’s not all of the sudden going to alter. It’s who Cities is as a participant.
He couldn’t keep on the ground within the play-in recreation towards the Los Angeles Clippers, and regardless of a dominant efficiency in Recreation 1 towards the Grizzlies, he struggled with foul bother in Recreation 2, and it occurred once more in Recreation 3.
That is perhaps the most important takeaway from this explicit loss. As a lot because the Timberwolves are going to lament the blown leads, and so they completely ought to, the truth that Cities wasn’t on the ground was an enormous a part of their downfall.
After watching the Grizzlies get knocked down and stand up once more, the Timberwolves are going to must do the identical in Recreation 4.
Have they got that in them? It certain doesn’t seem like it.