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Finch gets mobile, gets a technical and gets Wolves back in West finals

DALLAS – It's probably no coincidence that in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals, with Timberwolves coach Chris Finch the most mobile he has been following surgery to repair a ruptured right patellar tendon, he picked up his first technical foul of the postseason.

It came as the Wolves edged the Mavericks 105-100 on Tuesday night to stay alive in the best-of-seven series heading into Thursday's Game 5 at Target Center.

Finch, who has been seated behind the bench area as assistant Micah Nori patrols the sideline, ditched the crutches at times over the last few days and he was moving around the sideline and even onto the floor during timeouts.

He was also able to lead the timeout huddles where before he had to keep sitting behind the bench.

But ever since the end of the second-round series against Denver, Finch has at least been able to stand and holler at officials, and he was too vocal for referee Scott Foster's liking Tuesday and earned a technical after Karl-Anthony Towns picked up his fifth foul during the third quarter.

"My job was to inject emotion into the game," Finch said.

And a few four-letter words along with it. One of the features of media seating in American Airlines Arena is that some writers sit just behind the scorer's table, which means sometimes they can hear the communication among officials, coaches and players. Finch wasn't shy about sharing his thoughts, as he rarely is.

The team seemed to feed off the increased emotion Finch was able to bring in and around the bench.

"It was big," forward Jaden McDaniels said. "I remember the game started and I looked at Finch standing up. You can tell that he wants to win. He doesn't want it to be over either. It gave us a lot of energy to try and win for him."

Finch has let Nori make most snap decisions without checking back at him first in order to ease communication, but as Finch has become more mobile, he's been trying to get his voice out there a little more.

"His voice hasn't changed. Midgame it can be a little bit different because he's so far away at times," said point guard Mike Conley, who collided with Finch in Game 4 of the first-round Phoenix series that resulted in the injury. "It feels that you can't really hear him as well. You're used to him being where Micah is, right where I took his knee out, right there on the scorer's table."

Finch's technical had a desired result for the Wolves, as the team didn't lose focus in the second half. They'll need more of that if the Wolves are going to come back in this series.

"To have him be on the sideline, but behind the bench, for the majority of these playoffs, you forget the impact it can have when your coach is up getting technicals, yelling and we see him hobble around to do it, it's impressive," Conley said.

"It lit a fire in all of us. Obviously we were all kind of frustrated with whatever call it was and what wasn't called. He's not going to let it go. He's going to keep in their ear and just make sure that they know that we're not backing down."