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Minnesota Timberwolves beat LA Clippers to advance to NBA playoffs

For the first time in four years (and the second time in just 19 seasons), the Minnesota Timberwolves will make the NBA playoffs. Seventh in the Western Conference, the “Wolves” qualified at home on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Clippers (109-104), via play-in. They will play against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs from Saturday.

The meeting has long been balanced. The Californians led for most of the first 40 minutes, but just before halftime Minnesota had taken the lead (53-51). At the end of the third quarter, Los Angeles led again, with just six points (84-78).

Minnesota hands Clippers 16-2

Then LA posted a true first attack, widening a 10-point gap (93-83, 39th). But the Timberwolves reacted with destruction, bringing a 16-2 to their opponent within five minutes and returning to the score (99-95, 44th). If Los Angeles then continued to threaten until the buzzer, Minnesota kept the game in check, thereby validating the qualifier.

At the end of the game, Patrick Beverley, the Timberwolves point guard, started running and screaming, as if he had just won a championship ring. Author of seven points, eleven rebounds and three assists, he also excelled in his ability to confuse the opposing team. And he found a taker on the other side, with Marcus Morris, the Clippers winger, making the game exciting. Just before kick-off, Beverley was fined $25,000 for misbehaving a referee last Sunday.

Missing cities with the Timberwolves

Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell, authors of 30 and 29 points respectively, were the main architects of the Minnesota Timberwolves’ qualification. Karl-Anthony Towns, on the other hand, disappointed. He was released for six fouls, eight minutes from the buzzer, after going through his match (11 points, 3/11 to shoot including 0/7 in the first period).

In the ranks of the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul George scored 34 points (10/24 shooting including 6/12 of three points). Nicolas Batum, the lone Frenchman competing in Tuesday’s play-in games, played 28 minutes, for seven runs scored, four rebounds, two assists, one block and one interception. The California franchise can still qualify for the playoffs. She will compete against the winner of the New Orleans – San Antonio match, which is scheduled for Wednesday, on Friday.

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