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Suns scorch Timberwolves to end regular season; teams to meet in first round of playoffs



Suns scorch Timberwolves to end regular season; teams to meet in first round of playoffs

Sunday couldn’t have gone any worse for the Timberwolves.

They entered the day with an opportunity on the No. 1 seed within the Western Convention with slightly assist, they usually had been not less than assured the No. 2 seed with a win. Additionally they had an opportunity to point out that their first two conferences this season in opposition to the Phoenix Suns weren’t indicative of a nasty matchup, that ought to they face the Suns within the playoffs, the Wolves might deal with them.

Then the Wolves went out and misplaced 125-106, a outcome that dropped them to the No. 3 seed because of Denver and Oklahoma Metropolis each successful, whereas their reward for the second-best common season in crew historical past (56-26) is to face these identical Suns who’ve now waxed them 3 times this season.

Phoenix has led by double digits for your complete second half of every matchup. The Wolves started the evening with a disastrous 19 turnovers within the first half and by no means received nearer than 10 factors from there.

Anthony Edwards had solely 13 factors on seven shot makes an attempt to go along with 5 turnovers, whereas Karl-Anthony Cities had solely 10 factors on 3-for-8 taking pictures in his second sport again from left meniscus surgical procedure. Cities’ sluggish re-acclimation and the way helpless the Wolves have seemed in opposition to Phoenix have put doubt within the Wolves’ possibilities to maneuver previous the primary spherical of a playoff collection for the primary time since 2004. Even when the crew was professing outward confidence after the sport.

“It is truthfully the assumption in ourselves that we had all yr,” stated guard Mike Conley, who scored 17 factors. “It has to stay out. We’re a crew that we’ve not seemed throughout the courtroom and thought we’re not higher than one other crew. I feel in each sport, we really feel like we will beat that opponent, and that is no completely different.”

Last NBA regular-season standings

The Wolves seemed nowhere near competing with the Suns on Sunday after faltering to a 44-22 deficit within the first quarter because of 11 turnovers. Phoenix’s beginning lineup seems to current matchup issues for the Wolves, who had been utilizing Cities to protect Grayson Allen, who had 20 factors on 8-for-11 taking pictures.

“We have got quite a bit to take a look at, for certain. Quite a bit to get proper,” coach Chris Finch stated. “In order that’s good for us. A variety of issues we now have to have a solution for once we get again out on the ground this week.”

Bradley Beal completed with 36 factors to guide the Suns, whereas Devin Booker had 23 and Kevin Durant added 15. Beal stated the Suns are studying nothing into their success in opposition to the Wolves this season.

“Which means nothing, truthfully,” Beal stated. “Yeah, we need to win each sport within the common season we presumably can, however that is nonetheless an excellent crew over there. We will not simply take a look at the numbers or boxscores and suppose that we will come out and simply run by way of the collection.”

BOXSCORE: Phoenix 125, Wolves 106

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Cities tried to place as optimistic a face on Sunday’s debacle as he might by saying it was truly an excellent factor the Wolves had been taking part in the opponent that they had essentially the most issue with all season within the first spherical.

“It should make us higher,” Cities stated. “It should take a look at our psychological fortitude, and it may take a look at our self-discipline. These are going to be issues that, if we get previous Spherical 1, we will want these kinds of issues if we anticipate to be a championship crew.”

There’s quite a bit to determine for Sport 1, which takes place Saturday at Goal Middle. Except for the defensive matchups, can the Wolves play Cities a full complement of minutes within the postseason? Can they get Edwards reignited in opposition to a Phoenix crew that continuously doubles him and has held him to 14.3 factors per sport this season?

“They gained three video games within the common season. Common season over with now,” Edwards stated. “We received the postseason, so we’ll be able to go.”

They did not appear like it Sunday.


The Timberwolves earned the No. 3 seed within the Western Convention and face Phoenix in a playoff collection, with Sport 1 beginning Saturday. However the Suns, on the power of quick begins, swept the three-game regular-season collection.

Suns 133, Wolves 115 (Nov. 15): Wolves saved tempo for a lot of the first quarter however trailed 76-54 on the half.

Suns 97, Wolves 87 (April 5): Phoenix led 32-20 after the primary. Grayson Allen scored 23 factors, Kevin Durant 22.

Suns 125, Wolves 106 (Sunday): Suns dominated in the beginning, main 44-22 after one quarter.

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