This skill is something he still struggles to master.
Towns found peace at the free throw line. He had 17 tries to keep his calm.
He roared back, scoring a playoff-best 33 points with 14 rebounds to help the Timberwolves overcome their Game 3 defeat and win 119-118 over the Memphis Grizzlies Saturday night to make it 2-2.
Towns said, "Just taking a calm pill, calming down, and understanding the next match, there's another chance." He hit 14 foul shots, including a pair with 4.4 seconds remaining.
Anthony Edwards scored 24 points, while backup Jordan McLaughlin went 4 for 4, from 3-point range, for 16 points.
The Timberwolves were relentless in their attack on the basket and were awarded with 40 free throws, of which 31 they made. Memphis was called for 33 fouls.
"I have never seen a more inconsistent or arrogant officiated sport," stated Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins. "I'll take any hit's coming to me."
Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks offered to pay the coach's inevitable fine. The Memphis starting five had 25 fouls, compared to Minnesota's 23 total.
Morant had four fouls and called it "terrible". "I don’t even foul like that."
Desmond Bane made his eighth 3-pointer at buzzer to give the Grizzlies 34 points. Brooks (24 points) kept them in the game late. Morant, the star point guard, had another quiet night. He scored 11 points on 4 for 13 shooting and received 15 assists.
Morant said, "I'm still not Ja right now," and indicated that he wasn't at his full strength. "I'm not playing over the rim."
Game 5 of the series will be played in Memphis on Tuesday night.
"Even after all the effort, you still lose the game by one." It shows you how much margin you have in this game and in the playoffs, especially when playing against a team like this," Towns said. He took four shots and scored just eight points in Game 3.
With 43 seconds remaining, Patrick Beverley missed 2 free throws. The Wolves led 115-110. Morant responded with a layup, and Edwards missed a pull up 3. With 10.5 seconds remaining, Tyus Jones' 3-pointer fell short and Edwards grabbed it. As the crowd cheered, Edwards made both free throws. Wolves in six!
McLaughlin's 3rd quarter basket put Minnesota in control. This started a 17-1 run which culminated in a lead of 50-35. The largest lead of the night, but it was quickly trimmed by the Grizzles to single digits.
The Timberwolves lost Game 3 by 25+ points. This was an anomaly considering they were only the ninth NBA team to lose the game in 389 postseason situations. According to ESPN,
It fits in perfectly with the Minnesota sports scene, which has been filled for decades of such disappointments. However, the crowd did not stop trying to create an raucous advantage on Saturday.
Wally Szczerbiak and Troy Hudson, both standouts from the Timberwolves' 2004 team, were on courtside giving high-fives to fans sitting nearby.
Towns made a three from the top key of the key to his first possession. A jet-like roar followed.
Towns was aware of the importance of the game and he came out with a fury that suggested he knew exactly how much criticism he had received for Game 3's performance. He looked down at his hands as he hit his first 3, and shouted at no one about how important it was to pass him the ball.
Timberwolves coach Chris Finch stated, "Exactly what we required from him." "Just aggressive, putting pressure on them, forcing the whistle."
BUMPS AND BRUES
In what was possibly the most intense game in the series, bodies crashed to the ground on nearly every possession. Morant, who was suffering from nagging leg injuries, had to land several times after attempting layups.
Ziaire Williams, Grizzlies backup, sustained an eye injury during the second quarter. Morant drew a flagrant violation on D'Angelo Russell while driving to the hoop. He caught a hand to his face and drove to the hoop.
Edwards was unable to walk to the locker room due to an injury to his right leg, and he left the game in the first quarter. He returned to the team less than three minutes later.
Edwards stated, "Everybody is going through something, you understand?"
In the third quarter, two more animal rights protestors attempted to disrupt the game. One woman leapt over the Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor's courtside seats before being tackled and taken away by security. She was accompanied by her companion, who remained behind Taylors and near the second row Timberwolves assistant coaches. Security helped to wrestle her out.
This group protests the way Taylor's chicken farm allegedly managed an avian influenza outbreak. Around 28 million birds have been killed by the highly contagious virus .
Grizzlies: Xavier Tillman, fourth Grizzlies' player in the series, started at center. He will be joining Jaren Jackson Jr. in frontcourt. Brandon Clarke and Kyle Anderson have taken turns. Steven Adams has also taken turns. Jackson was fouled with seven points. "Jaren is a good player. Clarke stated that we know the player he's." Clarke said, "He'll do just fine."
Timberwolves: Beverley had 17 points. Jarred Vanderbilt scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds.