Timberwolves avoid sweep in West finals

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DALLAS, May 29, (AP): Karl-Anthony Towns scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half and the Minnesota Timberwolves held off the Dallas Mavericks 105-100 on Tuesday night to avoid a sweep in the Western Conference finals.
Anthony Edwards had 29 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists as the Wolves stayed alive in their first trip to the conference finals in 20 years, and just the second in the franchise’s 35 seasons.
Towns, who was shooting 28% from the field in the series coming in, was 9 of 13, including four of five from deep.

“He got himself going by going to the hoop,” coach Chris Finch said. “Played quick off the catch. He stayed confident. He didn’t look much for his 3 until the second half. He just had his feet set. He was ready. And they were huge.”
Now third-seeded Minnesota heads home for Game 5 on Thursday night to see if it can make the series even more interesting against No. 5 seed Dallas.

Luka Doncic had 28 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists in his sixth triple-double of these playoffs, but he and co-star Kyrie Irving were just 13 of 39 from the field. Irving, who was 14-0 in his career in closeout games coming in, finished with 16 points.

“That game’s on me. Just didn’t give enough energy,” said Doncic, who was 7 of 21 from the field, including 1 of 5 in the fourth when he and Irving had combined as closers to build the 3-0 series lead. “They won one game. We’ve just got to focus on the next one.”
The Wolves have led in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter of every game in the series, and this time they finished.

Towns, who picked up his fifth foul midway through the third quarter, put the Wolves ahead for good on a 3-pointer with 5:41 remaining, then hit another from deep the next time down.
Edwards put the Wolves up five with a jumper just inside the arc with 39 seconds left, and Minnesota hung on despite Edwards fouling Doncic on a made 3-pointer for a three-point Dallas deficit with 12 seconds to go.

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