This is the team's first playoff win since 2016.
If the Timberwolves have any chance of upsetting the top-seeded Rockets, they'll need Towns to play absolutely out of his mind all series, or at least for four games, at both ends of the court. Minnesota won three straight to close the regular season, including a 112-106 overtime win at home over Denver Wednesday night in their finale.
Timberwolves, on the other hand, will be aware of their underdog status when the best of seven-series games gets underway Sunday.
While the Wolves may feel a desire to reflect on their accomplishment, the real work begins Sunday night, when they head south to face the team with the best record in the National Basketball Association, the Houston Rockets.
Minnesota hasn't made the playoffs since 2003-2004, when they lost to the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. In the extra session, the Timberwolves outscored the Nuggets 11-5 to earn the win. Jimmy Butler led the Timberwolves with 31 points in the win. Towns had 12 rebounds and two assists.
For the Timberwolves Andrew Wiggins led the way with 18 points, with Derrick Rose (16) and Jamal Crawford (15) pitching in off the bench. Russell Westbrook added 29 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists. Their "reward" was a date with the top-seeded Rockets. The Rockets finished the regular season with a 65-17 record. Winning Game 1 would shift the narrative in the series and put the pressure on Houston. Paul is averaging just under 20 points this season, while also collecting an impressive 7.9 assists per game. PJ Tucker and Ryan Anderson (9.3 points, five rebounds) each are key secondary options this season.
Houston will be without Luc Mbah a Moute, who dislocated his shoulder and is set to miss the entire first round. The Rockets are 15 in the league in field goal percentage, shooting 46 percent as a team.
So how did Houston do against the T-wolves this season?
The Wolves didn't get enough from their big guns to contend with a team that possesses the firepower Houston has. When asked about it, Butler played coy and offered an entertaining comment. There's not a lot of reliable depth for Minnesota.
The Wolves scored the first nine points of the second half to take a 56-54 lead. If they can't, their return to the postseason will be short-lived. The Minnesota Timberwolves have split their last 10 road games. Houston, the deadliest 3-point shooting team in the game, went just 10 for 37 from deep.