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Timberwolves could land a kill shot Friday in Phoenix. They know it won’t be easy

Every NBA playoff game is difficult to win, and Mike Conley knows Game 3 in Phoenix will be “especially” difficult for Minnesota.

Because the veteran guard has been in the shoes the Suns stand in right now.

“When you get home, you get back to your routine and there’s a lot of emotion. Their fans are going to be rowdy, it’s going to be a hostile environment,” Conley said. “They’re going to be ready to go.”

No one has ever rallied back from a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-seven series in NBA history. Phoenix’s season is on the line Friday. The Suns figure to play with a desperation level they’ve not yet exhibited in this series.

How do the Wolves combat it?

“Be the most desperate team. We still haven’t done what we set out to do, which is win the series,” Wolves coach Chris Finch said. “Everything is there, we know it’s coming. We have to be ready for it. Got to guard against human nature, keep the hunger and the edge and the willingness to prove ourselves.”

Minnesota hasn’t backed down from a fight all season. The best thing you can say about the Timberwolves is they’ve been up for any challenge. And they’re playing well enough at the moment to weather an early Suns storm.

“For us to go in there and try to get Game 3, it’s going to take a lot of the same stuff we’ve done at home, but just notched up a couple levels,” Conley said. “Our emotional capacity has to be at an all-time high where we can not talk to the refs, not talk to the fans, not talk to the other team. Be about ourselves and try to handle our business.”

The earlier Minnesota can handle business, the better its chances. Phoenix-based podcasts and video channels currently show a fan base shrouded in frustration. It’s been an up-and-down season for a Suns team that entered the campaign with high expectations, and the rollercoaster apparently has taken its toll on the fan base.

A strong start from the Wolves could very well not only silence the Phoenix fans on Friday, but potentially cause them to air their grievances with the home squad. The Suns will surely do everything in their power to prevent that.

“I expected their best shot the first two games. It’s the playoffs. Teams are going to come out with their best hand and put their best foot forward as well and try to make things happen,” Wolves guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker said. “It’s about us staying together. In the playoffs it’s about team basketball and who is going to be the better team and play together, have guys that step up and be ready to come out and play.”

That’s what Minnesota did in the first two games of this series, and it resulted in a pair of convincing victories. But Conley noted the Wolves can’t simply expect history to repeat itself in Game 3.

“We’ve got to go in there knowing that they’re going to put up a fight and give everything they’ve got to try to get this series back in a manageable area,” Conley said. “So, we’re going to try to do what we do.”

Allen questionable

Phoenix sharpshooter Grayson Allen is questionable for Friday’s bout after re-injuring his sprained right ankle in Minnesota’s victory on Tuesday. Allen told reporters in Phoenix on Thursday that his ankle felt “better than (he) thought” it would after suffering the injury.

“Thought it was going to hurt a lot,” he said. “Feels pretty good.”

Suns coach Frank Vogel said Allen wasn’t able to do much at Thursday’s practice, but Allen noted he did some work on his own ahead of practice. Allen — who shot 46 percent from 3-point range this season — said he was hopeful he’d be able to do more Friday morning after another night’s rest.

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