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If the Minnesota Timberwolves have a goal over the final 22 games, it should be to capture the sixth seed in the Western Conference. Not only would that accomplishment help them avoid the play-in tournament, but it might also give Timberwolves fans an entertaining playoff series with the Memphis Grizzlies.

In their first game back from the All-Star break, the Timberwolves and Grizzlies gave fans a glimpse of what a seven-game battle could look like. With D'Angelo Russell's eruption in the fourth quarter, Minnesota earned a 119-114 victory and moved within two games of the Denver Nuggets for the 6-seed.

The Timberwolves got out of the gate slow thanks to a strong effort from the Grizzlies' defense. With Anthony Edwards having another rough night from the floor (1-for-11 FG, 0-6 3-pointers), Memphis took a 31-21 lead after the first quarter.

But where Edwards struggled shooting the ball, he made up for it with his defense. Edwards was part of a defensive effort that held Ja Morant to 7-for-25 shooting and helped Minnesota get back into the game.

Karl-Anthony Towns took advantage as the reigning 3-point champion knocked down a pair of treys as part of a 22-point night to help the Timberwolves go into the locker room down 56-53 at halftime.

Both teams exchanged haymakers throughout the third quarter as the intensity picked up. When it came to closing time, Russell was the hero. The Timberwolves guard went ballistic in the fourth quarter, scoring 23 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter.

With the game tied at 114, Russell knocked down a crucial 3-pointer that effectively put the game away for Minnesota and had many begging for more.

The Timberwolves' (32-28) quest for the 6-seed will continue when they travel to Cleveland on Monday night.

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