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Wolves escape Dallas, win tense Game 4 to bring West finals back home

The Timberwolves and Mavericks are playing tonight in Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference finals, with Dallas leading the series 3-0. Staff writer Chris Hine is filing live reports from American Airlines Arena.

Gameview, with live stats and matchup information

10:11 p.m.: Wolves escape Dallas after tense fourth quarter

DALLAS – Game 4 of the Western Conference finals had a similar story to the first three — the Wolves had a fourth-quarter lead as the game entered the final minutes. This time, the Wolves were able to write a different ending and stave off elimination with a 105-100 victory over the Mavericks to keep their season going.

Game 5 will be back at Target Center on Thursday with Dallas ahead 3-1.

Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards played their best games of the series and were able to hit enough shots in the fourth quarter for the Wolves to survive and extend the series a little longer.

Edwards finished with 29 points, including multiple key buckets in the final minutes while Towns had an efficient night with 25 points on 9-for-13 before fouling out with 1 minute, 38 seconds to play.

With the Wolves ahead 100-97, Edwards hit a long jumper from the right wing to give them a five-point lead with 39.7 seconds remaining that provided enough of a cushion in the final moments.

Towns and Edwards were a combined 20-for-38, and they outdueled Luke Doncic (28 points) and Kyrie Irving (16 points), who were 13-for-39.

By the 8:42 mark of the fourth quarter both Towns and Gobert had five fouls. The Wolves opted to ride with both of them as the Mavericks tied the score at 83. That proved beneficial as Towns buried a pair of threes to give the Wolves a 95-90 lead with 5:04 to play.

Gobert went to the foul line to put the Wolves up seven but missed both free throws. At the other end, the Wolves couldn't corral a rebound and that led to a Daniel Gafford dunk. The Wolves' next possession featured a lot of dribbling from Edwards, but he hit Towns for another three that put the Wolves up six with 2:54 left.

Towns fouled out with 1:38 to play when he fouled Doncic as he was attempting a three, and Doncic hit all three free throws to cut the Wolves lead to 100-95. But the Wolves wouldn't relinquish a late lead on this night.

9:27 p.m.: Towns has five fouls, but Wolves lead by five entering fourth quarter

In each round of the playoffs, Anthony Edwards praised Karl-Anthony Towns when Towns would stay out of foul trouble, because the Wolves have needed Towns to advance this far in the postseason.

But in Game 4, foul trouble has hounded Towns and even Edwards himself a bit.

Towns committed five fouls in 22 minutes as the Wolves lead the Mavericks 78-73 at the end of the third. Towns had it going offensively prior to his exit with 15 points on 6-for-7 shooting.

Edwards had four fouls and the Wolves used their challenge unsuccessfully trying to overturn Edwards' fourth foul on Daniel Gafford. Then Rudy Gobert also picked up his fourth with just over two minutes left in the quarter.

With Dallas ahead 59-56 Gobert and Jones got tangled up on a screen, with the two bumping chests and exchanging words after the play. Both were issued technical fouls.

Towns picked up an offensive foul for No. 4 with 7:09 to play in the quarter, but the Wolves opted to leave him in the game. Towns responded with six points in an 8-0 Wolves run that gave them a 66-62 lead before a timeout with 5:39 left

But it wasn't long before foul No. 5 came as well. Towns elbowed Dallas forward P.J. Washington while pump faking a jump shot at the 4:59 mark. Wolves coach Chris Finch also picked up a technical arguing the call.

The Mavericks converted 13 Wolves turnovers in 28 points. The Wolves largely held Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving in check through three; they were a combined 9-for-27.

8:39 p.m.: Timberwolves pressured into turnovers, fouls, but still tied at half

Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert each picked up three fouls in the first half, and the Wolves relinquished a 12-point lead to go into the locker room tied 49-49.

The Wolves defense has held Dallas to just 37% shooting, but the Mavericks are 8-for-19 from the three-point line, which helped them close the game on a Wolves team that shot 47% but hit just four threes.

Eight Wolves turnovers led to 18 points by the Mavs.

Edwards finished with 17 points in the half, but the Wolves nearly gave up a 30-20 lead in the opening minutes of the quarter. They regrouped to lead 42-34 behind 13 first-half points from Mike Conley, but a pair of Derrick Jones threes led an 8-0 Dallas spurt to tie the score at 42.

The Wolves had to play the last 2:40 without Towns, Gobert and Edwards. The score was tied 45-45 at the time and remained that way the rest of the half, as the Wolves prevented Dallas from taking advantage of those minutes.

Doncic has 17 points on 4-for-13 shooting but has three threes and is 6-for-6 from the free-throw line. The Wolves had a 22-10 paint points edge.

8:03 p.m.: Anthony Edwards powers Wolves to first-quarter lead

Behind 14 points from Anthony Edwards, the Timberwolves lead the Mavericks 27-20 after the first quarter.

To start the night, the Wolves switched up their initial defensive matchups, as Edwards guarded Luka Doncic and Jaden McDaniels had Kyrie Irving. Doncic started hot with eight early points as the Mavericks and Wolves were tied 10-10 halfway through the quarter.

But after Dwight Powell checked in for Daniel Gafford — during the time when the injured Dereck Lively would normally be in the game — the Wolves attacked the rim with success. Minnesota went on a 10-0 run for a 20-10 lead with 2 minutes, 50 seconds left. Mike Conley had three steals in the quarter.

Edwards found success scoring from all levels, as he hit a three, from the midrange and got to the rim. He attempted eight free throws in the quarter, though he missed three.

Dallas shot 6-for-29 from the field and no player outside of Luka Doncic or Kyrie Irving had a field goal in the first quarter until the 1:29 mark.

The Wolves were 10-for-16 but had five turnovers, including a bad one by Edwards with seconds left that enabled the Mavs to finish the quarter on an 8-3 run.

5:25 p.m.: Shootaround chatter on KAT's shooting

As Karl-Anthony Towns was speaking to the media following Timberwolves shootaround Tuesday morning, Anthony Edwards walked by the crowd and shouted "KAT's hitting eight threes tonight, for all y'all asking."

"That's a prediction right there," Towns said. "That would be a lovely one."

If the Wolves are going to extend the series against Dallas, they need Towns to shake off his struggles in this series and get back to the player who helped them win the series against the Nuggets.

Towns is 15-for-54 so far in the series, and he's 3-for-22 from three-point range. Towns said he wasn't trying to do anything out of the norm to get himself going in Game 4.

"I know I put the work in so I'm confident to go out there, shoot the ball and the plan, as always, is to see it go through the net," Towns said.

As for the team's mindset overall facing elimination, Towns said the team hasn't lost belief that it could come back in the series, especially given they faced elimination against Denver and came back to win the series.

"I know when that series got to 3-2 I heard a lot of murmurs — not outside but just people in general around the city or around us. And the series was over to a lot of people. But everyone in our locker room believes so as long as everyone in that locker room believes, anything is possible with us."

Wolves coach Chris Finch has confidence in Towns: "I told him, 'The past is unrelated to the future. Trust your talent. Stay confident ... shots will fall.'"

4:16 p.m.: Injury report

For Dallas, Dereck Lively II is likely out after suffering a neck sprain in Game 3, but the Mavericks could be getting an added reinforcement on their front line in Maxi Kleber, who could return from a shoulder injury for Game 4. Kleber was upgraded to questionable ahead of Game 4 while Lively was listed as doubtful.

If the Wolves can force Game 5, it would be Thursday night at Target Center.