“That Was Embarrassing For Basketball” | Charles Barkley And Social Media React To Timberwolves Blowing 26-Point Lead To Grizzlies

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

The Minnesota Timberwolves blew a 26-point lead at home in Game 3 to lose to the Memphis Grizzlies 104-95 Thursday night. This was an epic collapse, and folks on social media had all the jokes. Charles Barkley and the “Inside The NBA” crew were also critical of the Timberwolves.

“That was embarrassing for basketball,” said Barkley.

At halftime Barkley warned that the Timberwolves were a talented but “dumb” basketball team, prone to making mistakes and letting their opponents back into games with low IQ plays.

The Grizzlies’ victory is the largest come-from-behind win in franchise playoff history and ties the largest comeback victory in club history (including regular season games).

Throughout the game the Timberwolves were able to build their lead by capitalizing off Grizzlies turnovers. But as their lead shrank and they weren’t able to get run-outs and easy scores, the Timberwolves struggled to execute in the half-court.

Timberwolves All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns scored eight points, grabbed five rebounds, and picked up five fouls in 33 minutes. He was the target of some online heckling for his poor performance. He had the second-fewest shot attempts on the team.

The Grizzlies outscored the Timberwolves by 25 points in the fourth quarter, tied for the third-largest points differential in a fourth quarter in NBA postseason history. It also tied for the largest points differential in the fourth quarter of a road game in NBA postseason history.

Grizzlies All-Star Ja Morant recorded a triple-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. The first triple-double in team playoff history, and he doesn’t believe he played well.

During the playoffs coaches usually shorten their rotations giving their top seven to eight guys the majority of the minutes. Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins has stressed the importance of his team’s depth all season.

The Grizzlies went 10 deep in Game 3 and they didn’t start Steven Adams, who has been struggling the first two games of this series. Jaren Jackson Jr. was in foul trouble all game, so Brandon Clarke played 29 minutes and started the second half. He scored 20 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and was 8-for-8 from the free throw line.

It’s just 2-1, and it’s first team to four wins. But this loss is going to be a tough one to get over. The Wolves had two different 20+ point leads and couldn’t finish the deal.

During the Grizzlies’ run late in the third and into the fourth quarter, Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch did not call a timeout. Apparently, he opted to let his young team figure it out on their own.

The playoffs are reference points for young players and teams. If you’ve never experienced specific moments and scenarios you don’t know how to process and what to do. This was pretty egregious loss, but it will serve as a reference point.

All that said, this was Game 3 of a best-of-seven. The most important game is the next one. The Timberwolves win that one and we’re tied 2-2. Then it becomes a best-of-three with two games in Memphis.

So far, this series has lived up to the hype.