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Timberwolves stick it to Clippers, advance from play-in tournament to face Grizzlies

The Timberwolves went on a 15-3 run immediately after a woman reportedly tried to glue herself to the court during the second quarter (apparently protesting how Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor treats animals, leaving a handprint, but only briefly interrupting play).

The Timberwolves went on a 13-2 run immediately after their best player, Karl-Anthony Towns, fouled out in the fourth quarter.

And the Timberwolves ran to celebrate immediately after earning just their second postseason win in 22 years, jumping on the scorer’s table and sharing jubilant hugs.

In a strange night in Minnesota, the Timberwolves advanced to the playoffs with a 109-104 play-in victory over the Clippers on Tuesday. Minnesota claims the No. 7 seed and will face the Grizzlies in the first round. The desired matchup of the NBA’s youngest postseason teams will begin with Game 1 Saturday in Memphis.

The series will present another postseason opportunity for Towns, who fouled out with just 11 points on 3-of-11 shooting tonight. He previously struggled through his only other postseason appearance, a five-game loss to the Rockets in the 2018 first round. That lopsided series included the Timberwolves’ only other postseason win since 2004.

More accustomed to success lately, the Clippers (42-40) can still ensure their 11th straight winning season ends in the playoffs by winning another play-in game Friday. L.A. will host the winner of Pelicans-Spurs, who play Tuesday. However, Friday’s winner will have a much tougher matchup with the Suns (who beat the Clippers in last year’s Western Conference finals).

Despite Towns’ struggles, Minnesota advanced because Anthony Edwards (30 points) and D’Angelo Russell (29 points) stepped up. Led by the demonstrative Patrick Beverley, the Timberwolves out-hustled the Clippers – especially while overcoming a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit.

Nobody enjoyed the celebration than Beverley, who bested his former team: