MINNEAPOLIS – Karl-Anthony Towns, after a minor loss in Minnesota’s Timberwolves Game 3, responded with a fruitful performance in Minnesota’s 119: 118 win over Memphis Grizzlies in the 4th game on Saturday night. The best of the seven series is now deadlock 2-2.
Towns, a triple All-Star and number one in the NBA draft in 2015, has struggled in the previous two games, both losing in Minnesota. In Games 2 and 3, he collected 10 personal fouls, but scored only seven goals from the field because the Grizzlies threw several defenders at him in the middle of the field.
“Lots of rage,” Towns said of his mood entering Game 4. “He’s trying to find ways to dominate no matter what fits. [at me] – double, triple, quadruple, the coach comes to the court and also watches over me – and finds a way to put the ball in the bucket. “
Towns responded with 33 points and 14 rebounds, joining Kevin Garnett as the only Timberwolves to score 30 in the playoffs. He did well in pick-and-roll, rode as an isolated shooter against the defeated great defenders of Memphis, and even came out of the screens as a long-distance shooter. He scored an effective 1.43 points for holding the ball.
“He was upset,” Minnesota coach Chris Finch said of Towns’ stance before the game. “He was really good from the start: aggressive, putting pressure on them, forcing them to whistle, to get on the free throw line, things he hadn’t done much in the last two games.”
Towns made a living on the free throw line on Saturday when he attacked the Grizzlies defense on the way to the basket. He sank 14 of his 17 free throw attempts and attributed much of his overall success in Game 4 to his lane performance.
“It gives me loose shots of the rim,” Towns said. “It gives me a good touch of basketball. It gives me a good rhythm. More importantly for me personally, it allows me to calm down.”
Among these free throws was the pair that froze the Timberwolves and built four with the remaining 4.4 seconds. Towns, a 83.3% free throw shooter, said he was infinitely sure he would run out of the last shot.
“I knew it was good – the game was over,” he said. “I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to eat.”
Grizzlies keeper Ja Morant then praised Towns’ efforts in light of his poor performance in the historic collapse of Minnesota in Game 3.
“KAT reacted the way the superstar should,” Morant said.
Morant, who scored just 11 points while shooting 4 to 13 from the field – accompanied by 16 assists – will have the opportunity to answer for himself in the 5th game in Memphis on Tuesday night.