Karl-Anthony Towns scored 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his NBA-leading 60th double-double of the season, fueling the Wolves to a 123-109 home win over the Clippers Tuesday night.
Minnesota needed that win like they needed to breathe, giving them a little more breathing room in what's shaping up to be one of the tightest playoff races in recent memory.
Minnesota's victory also marked the end of a brutally difficult eight-game start to March, paving the way to the easiest remaining schedule in the Western Conference, according to PlayoffStatus.com.
Only four of the Wolves final 10 games are against teams with a winning record.
- Mar. 23 - at Knicks (26-45)
- Mar. 24 - at 76ers (39-30)
- Mar. 26 - vs. Grizzlies (19-51)
- Mar. 28 - vs. Hawks (21-50)
- Mar. 30 - at Mavericks (22-49)
- Apr. 1 - vs. Jazz (40-31)
- Apr. 5 - at Nuggets (38-33)
- Apr. 6 - at Lakers (31-39)
- Apr. 9 - vs. Grizzlies (19-51)
- Apr. 11 - vs. Nuggets (38-33)
Now the Wolves' main goal should be getting out of 7th place and moving up to at least 6th. Doing so would keep them from having to play a first-round series against the Rockets or Warriors, whom they're a combined 1-6 against this season and have been outscored by 91 points.
If the playoffs started today the Wolves would face Golden State, which is essentially a death sentence.