It’s now or never if the Timberwolves hope to reach the playoffs for just the third time in 19 seasons.
Despite leading most of the way, sometimes by double-digits, Minnesota went straight in the tank in its play-in overtime loss to the Lakers on Tuesday. Now, the Timberwolves have to beat the winner of the Thunder-Pelicans game. That game is Wednesday. The Timberwolves play again Friday.
“We expected to win this game,” point guard Mike Conley told reporters. “It’s disappointing to lose. We had a lead and let it slip. This should be a different postgame speech. … We’ve just got to be mentally and physically more engaged at the end, and we’ve got a couple of days to work on it.”
The Timberwolves’ offense went markedly silent in the final five or six minutes of regulation. When they did get a decent look at the basket, the shots just didn’t drop.
The best Minnesota can do now is the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference and a series with the top-seeded Nuggets.
“It’s disappointing. I feel like we put a lot of effort in. I thought we fought, we put a lot of effort in, we were very scrappy,” center/forward Karl-Anthony Towns said. “It’s difficult when you leave without a win and you feel you played good enough to win.”
- Coach Chris Finch indicated this is no time for the Timberwolves to feel sorry for themselves. “We fought all the way through the end of overtime … we just didn’t play good offense,” he said. “Right now we’ve got a crew that really, really plays hard. We gave ourselves a chance to win. We should’ve won this game.”
- Lakers coach Darvin Ham had high praise for the veteran play of Conley. “Michael Conley, man, I thought I was watching the Memphis Grizzlies (where Conley starred for much of his career),” Ham said, via Jace Frederick of the Pioneer Press. “The level at which he played at was unbelievable.”
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