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Edwards, Towns keep Timberwolves alive

By AFP - May 30,2024 - Last updated at May 30,2024

P.J. Washington #25 of the Dallas Mavericks attempts a shot against Rudy Gobert #27 of the Minnesota Timberwolves during the fourth quarter in Game Four of the Western Conference Finals at American Airlines Centre on Wednesday in Dallas, Texas (AFP photo)

LOS ANGELES — Anthony Edwards scored 29 points and Karl-Anthony Towns produced a crucial late burst of long-range shooting as the Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Dallas Mavericks 105-100 on Wednesday to keep their NBA Western Conference finals series alive.

The Timberwolves, trailing 3-0 in the best-of-seven series heading into game four, held off a furious late rally to close out a battling victory at the Mavericks’ home arena.

Edwards led the Minnesota scoring but the decisive contribution came from Towns, who drained a trio of three-pointers to help the Timberwolves take a 98-92 lead with less than two minutes remaining.

“Game four, down 3-0, this ain’t no time to have any doubts,” Towns said of his flurry of scoring. “I just wanted to go out and be aggressive, shoot my shot and be confident with every shot I shoot.

“Defensively I wanted to be as disciplined as possible. And offensively — just don’t lose any confidence and don’t lose any aggression.”

After Towns put Minnesota six points clear, Edwards extended the cushion to 100-92 via a jump shot with 1min 47sec left on the clock to leave the visitors in control.

But there was still time for Dallas to give the third seeds a nervous finale, closing to within three at 100-97 before Edwards’ sublime pull-up jumper from 21 feet put the Timberwolves five points clear with 40 seconds left.

The visitors held that advantage through to the buzzer and now have a slender lifeline to cling to as they head to game five back in Minneapolis on Thursday.

Edwards said he had been determined to prevent Dallas clinching a clean sweep.

“I’ve never been swept in my career, even though I’ve been to the play-offs three times,” Edwards told TNT television. “I took it personally.

“I definitely didn’t want to get swept, especially here on their home court, hearing the fans talking trash all day. I think we came out and competed at a high level today.

“I think I was aggressive. I didn’t shy away from the ball and they kept giving it to me and trusting me,” added Edwards.

Dallas were left frustrated after losing despite another triple double from Luka Doncic, who finished with 28 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists.

Doncic, however, had an off-night from long range, making just four-of-11 from three-point distance. As a team, Dallas went 14-from-40 outside the arc.

“This one’s on me,” Doncic said. “We got to do better. They’ve won one game, we’ve just got to focus on the next one.

“It was close in the end but we couldn’t finish. So they won and now we just have to focus on the next one.”

Towns finished with 25 points, with Mike Conley adding 14 and Rudy Gobert 13.

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