Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves Under Fire After Game 3 Collapse Against Grizzlies

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVApril 22, 2022

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) drives on Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Thursday, April 21, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)
AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King

Teams aren't supposed to blow 26-point leads in the playoffs.

At least not when they are playing at home and especially not when the other team's star player plays far worse than he typically does.

But that is exactly what the Minnesota Timberwolves did in Thursday's 104-95 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series. That they blew such a massive advantage while Ja Morant shot 5-of-18 from the field and 5-of-10 from the free-throw line with seven turnovers made it that much more of a stunner.

If Morant was bad, Karl-Anthony Towns was worse. He attempted a mere four field goals to go with his five personal fouls and four turnovers in a performance that drew plenty of criticism.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

A game of runs 🥴 <a href="https://t.co/4obe06zq0V">pic.twitter.com/4obe06zq0V</a>

Bill Simmons @BillSimmons

Towns has no game awareness whatsoever, it’s unbelievable. He’s gotta be the most frustrating good player in the league.

Jared Wade @Jared_Wade

KAT really has no idea how to not foul, huh

Hardwood Paroxysm @HPbasketball

Someone’s gonna have to be a leader for Minnesota and I don’t know if they have the dude because Memphis has about four of them.

Dan Devine @YourManDevine

someone make a Spider-Man pointing at Spider-Man meme of the Spider-Men fouling each other unnecessarily so we can sum up the JJJ/KAT matchup

Fred Katz @FredKatz

One of the craziest stats of the playoffs so far: Karl-Anthony Towns has taken 10 shots in Games 2 and 3 combined.

Dave Loughran @Loughy_D

The only player on the Timberwolves to attempt less field goals than Karl-Anthony Towns tonight is Taurean Prince. In game 3 of a playoff series.

StatMuse @statmuse

KAT hasn’t scored since 6:49 left in the 1st quarter. <a href="https://t.co/22kaRygBkx">pic.twitter.com/22kaRygBkx</a>

D'Angelo Russell (22 points, eight assists and five rebounds) played well after struggling in the first two games, which means even an average showing from Towns likely would have resulted in a Minnesota victory.

Instead, the Grizzlies outscored the Timberwolves 37-12 in the fourth quarter alone with Desmond Bane and Brandon Clarke providing enough support to help make up for Morant's shooting struggles. The star point guard still did his part, though, with a triple-double.

Myron Medcalf @MedcalfByESPN

When I travel, people sometimes ask me what the Minnesota sports scene is like. It’s this. It’s always this.

Paul Pierce @paulpierce34

Talk about a meltdown in Minnesota Wow put a fork in the Wolves

Dan Wolken @DanWolken

This is truly one of the dumbest displays of basketball I’ve ever seen

RingerNBA @ringernba

@ Minnesota <a href="https://t.co/GNVeQNZOqX">pic.twitter.com/GNVeQNZOqX</a>

claire de lune @ClaireMPLS

this is the timberwolfiest thing i’ve ever witnessed

Josh Eberley 🇨🇦 @JoshEberley

Body language from the Wolves is Macbethian

Brad Evans @NoisyHuevos

Posted without any additional commentary. <a href="https://t.co/ZrMHdiOacZ">pic.twitter.com/ZrMHdiOacZ</a>

Jared Wade @Jared_Wade

Wolves taking nothing but 3s late is inexperience. Someone needs to punish the D and get into the paint. Ant did well on a drive and kick but it's still leading to Pat Bev 3s so not exactly making them pay.

Frankly, it wouldn't be surprising if the Timberwolves struggle to bounce back by Game 4 on Saturday.