FSN To Replay Timberwolves' 2018 Game 3 Win Over Rockets
On Monday night at 7 p.m. CT, Fox Sports North will be replaying the Timberwolves’ first playoff win in 14 years.
We’ve already watched the Game 82 classic that clinched a playoff spot for the 2018 Timberwolves. Behind Karl-Anthony Towns, Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota earned the eighth seed. Their reward was to go up against the 65-win Rockets. Oh fun.
The Timberwolves nearly pulled off the Game 1 upset in Houston, but fell 104-101.
Game 2 was one to forget, with the Wolves falling 102-82.
Game 3 was significant. Not only for the series, but for the Timberwolves. They were headed back to the Target Center and it was a chance for their fans to be there for NBA playoff basketball for the first time since 2004 when the Timberwolves advanced to the Western Conference Finals.
After trailing 28-27 in the first quarter, the Wolves came out roaring in the second, scoring the first six points. The Timberwolves would eventually lead by 11 points after a Derrick Rose layup with 4:05 left in the second quarter.
But the Rockets did what they do best, drilling four 3-pointers, closing the lead to just 52-51 at half.
If you wanted energy, coming out of the halftime break, Timberwolves’ fans brought all of it. That trickled down to the players.
“The fans were great, the crowd was great,” Timberwolves forward Taj Gibson said. “Like I said from Day 1, we’re doing this for Minnesota. The fans pushed us over the limit, they were in it the whole game. We felt the energy. One thing about this crowd, they let you know when you’re playing bad and let you know when you’re playing great.”
Gibson was the only starter not to score in the third quarter for the Timberwolves as they outscored the Rockets 35-24 in that 12-minute stretch. Karl-Anthony Towns and Jeff Teague had eight points each, while Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins added seven.
That gave Minnesota a 12-point lead heading into the fourth. The Rockets got within nine, but the Timberwolves shut the door to that pretty quickly and walked their way to a 121-105 win, their first playoff win since May 29, 2004 in the Western Conference Finals.
“Bottom line, one they played well, they played with a little more emotion than we had, a little harder,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said after the game. “Especially in big moments they came up with either a stop or a score and we didn’t battle enough to overcome the crowd and the emotion that they had and give them their due.”
The Timberwolves would lose the series 4-1, but that Game 3 was full of so much emotion and the franchise was finally able to retire the “haven’t won a playoff game since 2004" headline.