Karl-Anthony Towns on Timberwolves' Collapse vs. Grizzlies: 'This is a Tough One'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVApril 22, 2022

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns complains about a call to referee James Capers (19) during the second half in Game 3 of the team's NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday, April 21, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)
AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King

"This is a tough one," Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns told reporters following Thursday's 104-95 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. "It's really tough. We gotta regroup and get ready."

Talk about an all-time understatement.

Minnesota was in full control for much of the game but blew a 26-point lead to fall behind 2-1 in the series. The Grizzlies outscored the home team 37-12 in the fourth quarter alone as Towns and Co. turned in a collapse that will be difficult to forget.

Fair or not, blame will start with the three-time All-Star

For one, he is supposed to be the team's best player who takes over in crunch time and prevents things like Thursday's collapse from happening. Instead, Towns attempted just four field goals all game and turned it over four times with five personal fouls. 

D'Angelo Russell (22 points and eight assists) played his best game of the series, and Patrick Beverley played solid defense on Ja Morant while the Grizzlies star was just 5-of-18 from the field.

Given the significant lead and Morant's shooting struggles, even an average performance from Towns likely would have been enough for the Timberwolves to seize a 2-1 lead in the series and maintain the home-court advantage they earned with a split in Memphis.

Instead, they will have to quickly put the fourth-quarter collapse behind them heading into Saturday's Game 4.

On the other side, the Grizzlies stole a road win even with Morant shooting so poorly. While he made up for it with a triple-double by facilitating and crashing the boards, Brandon Clarke (20 points and eight rebounds) and Desmond Bane (26 points and six rebounds) provided key production as the visitors came charging back.

Even if Minnesota manages to win Game 4, home-court advantage and momentum is back on Memphis' side after Thursday's dramatic outcome.