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The Minnesota Timberwolves had their backs against the wall, and they delivered on the road. Avoiding a sweep in Game 4 against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday was a good start, but the Timberwolves have plenty of work ahead if they want to make a serious run in the Western Conference finals. The series shifts back to Minneapolis for Game 5 on Thursday as the Timberwolves' season will once again be on the line.

Karl-Anthony Towns finally broke out of a shooting slump and finished with 25 points in the Timberwolves' 105-100 win on Tuesday while Anthony Edwards was just one assist shy of a triple-double. No team in NBA history has come back from a 3-0 series deficit to win a best-of-seven series, but before winning Game 4, Minnesota had lost the first three games in the series by a combined 13 points.

The Mavericks have to hit the road but are still one win away from advancing to the NBA Finals for the third time in franchise history. The loss ended a historic streak for Kyrie Irving, who finished with 16 points on 18 shots, including 1 for 6 on 3-pointers. Luka Doncic tallied a 28-15-10 triple-double, but he didn't shoot particularly well either (7 for 21).

Minnesota will keep fighting in their first trip to the conference finals in 20 years, and just the second in the franchise's 35 seasons. After losing the first three games of a series that started at home, the Timberwolves will try to become just the fourth team in NBA history to force at least six games.

Here's everything you need to know for Game 5.

Timberwolves vs. Mavericks schedule, scores

All times Eastern | * If necessary

Timberwolves vs. Mavericks, Game 5

Where to watch

Time: 8:30 p.m ET | Date: Thursday, May 30
Location: Target Center -- Minneapolis
TV channel: TNT | Streaming: Watch TNT, Max


Mavericks: There's no other way around it, the Mavericks squandered an opportunity. They're still up 3-1, but the Timberwolves were just given life in Game 4, and with Game 5 in Minnesota they'll definitely be fired up to try and push this series back to Dallas. The silver lining for Dallas is you lost by five points with Kyrie Irving scoring just 16 points. Irving went 1 of 6 from deep, which is a massive break away from the 43.8% he was shooting from deep in the first three games of this series. The downside here for Dallas though, is Dereck Lively II's absence. Minnesota feasted without his presence in the paint, and it was obvious how much the Mavericks relied on him defensively to stay locked in on that end of the floor. Dallas will have to either figure out how to adjust or hope Lively can go for Game 5 to avoid extending this series any further.

Timberwolves: It was the first game this series that Minnesota's stars outplayed Dallas', and that was truly the difference maker in this game. Lively's absence meant a green light for Anthony Edwards to attack the paint, and it also opened up mismatch opportunities for Rudy Gobert, who attacked Doncic several times to get to the free-throw line. Karl-Anthony Towns also came alive, which is a positive sign for the Wolves, and they'll be hoping that hot shooting carries over to Game 5 on Thursday. Minnesota looks like it figured out what works in Game 4, which should be scary for the Mavericks because we've seen before in these playoffs that the Timberwolves are more than comfortable playing from behind. If the Wolves get a win in Game 5, this series becomes a whole lot more interesting. 


I feel like Minnesota figured out a formula in Game 4. They got into the paint almost at will, KAT was hitting shots and they made life difficult for Irving by switching Jaden McDaniels on him and assigning Edwards on Doncic. Couple that with this game being in Minnesota, and I think this series sees a Game 6. The Pick: Timberwolves -4.5