Minnesota Now with Cathy Wurzer

Timberwolves face loss against Dallas Mavericks and other Minnesota sports news

a basketball player is stopped by a foul
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards is stopped by a foul while driving to the basket during Game 1 between the Timberwolves and Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals on Wednesday in Minneapolis.
Kerem Yücel | MPR News

The Minnesota Timberwolves are coming off a loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the first game of the Western Conference finals. The teams stayed within a few points of each other for the entire game but Dallas prevailed with 108 points to Minnesota’s 105.

Guard Anthony Edwards said after the game that the Wolves weren’t at their best — and will come back better for their game on Friday.

They aren’t the only Minnesota team in a playoff series right now. PWHL Minnesota is tied with Boston in the league’s first-ever championship series. Minnesota Now sports contributors Wally Langfellow and Eric Nelson joined MPR News host Cathy Wurzer to review the week in sports.

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.

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We attempt to make transcripts for Minnesota Now available the next business day after a broadcast. When ready they will appear here.

Audio transcript

CATHY WURZER: Let's talk about the Minnesota Timberwolves. They're off a loss to the Dallas Mavericks in that first game of the Western Conference Finals last night. The team stayed within a few points of each other for the entire game, but the Mavs prevailed 108 points to Minnesota's 105. And as guard Anthony Edwards said after the game, the Wolves were not at their best.

ANTHONY EDWARDS: I think Jaden was the only one that came ready to play tonight, and I think everybody else let him down. So I think if we bring our best brand of basketball, I think we'll see what type of game it'll be Friday. Everybody will bring their best brand of basketball from the Timberwolves, and we'll see how it go.

CATHY WURZER: They aren't the only Minnesota team in a playoff series right now. The PWHL Minnesota team is tied with Boston in the league's first ever championship series. Joining us to talk about all the week's top sports news, Wally Langfellow and Eric Nelson. How are you guys doing?

WALLY LANGFELLOW: Good. How are you, Cathy?


ERIC NELSON: Hey, Cathy.

CATHY WURZER: Well, I guess we should probably talk about the Wolves and Dallas, huh? What do you think?

WALLY LANGFELLOW: Yeah. It was not the ending that Timberwolves fans and the Timberwolves wanted last night, that's for sure. As you mentioned, 108-105 loss. They're down 1 game to 0.

It is a seven-game series. Let's not panic. Let's not forget that the Wolves were down 3 games to 2 to Denver and ended up winning the series. So there's a long ways to go.

Game 2 is tomorrow night-- again, 7:30, again at Target Center. But the big thing last night for Dallas, their big two, Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, they really had the Wolves' number.

Doncic 33 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists. Kyrie had 30 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists. Jaden McDaniels had 24 for the Wolves. I think he can be an x-factor in this series, and he came up big last night. Anthony Edwards 19 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists, but some really tough calls that went against the Wolves last night-- video replay, both of them down the stretch went against Minnesota.

I know the fans weren't happy with the calls, but that's the way it is in the NBA. The Mavericks, by the way, they are in uncharted territory. They have now winning a Game 1 under Jason Kidd, who is their head coach, for the first time in six tries. So they have been 0-fer until last night.

One other note that I thought was interesting statistically-- the Wolves were just 11 of 18 from the free throw line, while Dallas missed just one free throw on the night, going 16 for 17. So some things for the Wolves to correct. I think Ant is right-- I think if they play their top game that they will beat Dallas. But they did not do it last night.

CATHY WURZER: So, Eric Nelson, what was the atmosphere like in Target Center? It sounded pretty darn loud.

ERIC NELSON: Yeah. Despite the loss, the vibe inside Target Center, Cathy, electric. I mean, they had a sold out crowd of 19,433. It was Minnesota's sixth playoff home game so far this spring, and like the others, just pure pandemonium inside the venue.

They have what you call a whiteout condition. All the fans are rocking these Timberwolves t-shirts, white shirts. Everyone gets a t-shirt when you buy a ticket. You get a towel that you can wave as well. And then, usually, between the third and fourth quarter, the team mascot Crunch, who's been around since day one, will whip the crowd into a frenzy by running out of the north tunnel across the court into the south tunnel with this gigantic blue flag that says "playoff loud."

But last night, a vertical playoff loud banner was dropped down from the arena rafters on a chain, Crunch grabbed it, and literally rappelled his way to the ceiling 100 feet above the floor as the fans went ballistic. This is one brave mascot, Cathy. I couldn't believe what I was watching.

By the way, there was also a pregame party outside of Target Center in a nearby parking lot. And my sources tell me that a good friend of yours and Wally's, Larry Fitzgerald, was spotted eating with Charles Barkley in downtown Minneapolis. And no shock here-- Sir Charles picked up the tab.

CATHY WURZER: Well, I would hope he would. I mean, Fitzy-- Fitzy is good company, and I hope that Charles would pick up the tab. And I'm not surprised that Fitzy would be dining with--

ERIC NELSON: He put it on a Capital One card.

CATHY WURZER: Good lord.

WALLY LANGFELLOW: That's not why Charles picked up the tab, because Larry refused to. Let's be honest.

CATHY WURZER: That's probably right. Exactly. As he should. As he should. Hey, what's with the Twins, for goodness sakes?

WALLY LANGFELLOW: Boy, talk about a yo-yo season. They win 12 in a row a couple of weeks ago. Then they end up winning 17 out of 20. Then they lose seven in a row. Now they have won two in a row.

They beat the lowly Washington Nationals this past week on Tuesday 10-0, and then yesterday, they beat them 3 to 2. So they head home now, where, ironically, if you will, they play the baseball team from Dallas.

They'll play the Texas Rangers, defending World Series champions. That begins a three-game series tomorrow night. So Target Plaza will be hosting Dallas versus Minnesota. Target Field, it's Texas and the Twins. Target Center, it's the Mavs and the Wolves.

Oh, by the way, the Twins have moved back tomorrow night's game start time to 6:10 PM so as not to directly conflict. Obviously, there's a conflict. So 6:10 start for the baseball game, 7:30 start for the mavs and the T-Wolves.

Twins will send Bailey Ober to the mound tomorrow night against the Rangers. Rangers have not announced their starting pitcher. But yeah, it's been up and down, Cathy. Byron Buxton hit a couple of home runs on Tuesday-- good to see him come around.

Max Kepler, who I think has had a really good year so far, particularly the last three or four weeks, he hit a home run yesterday, too. So it's hard to say what you're going to get from day-to-day with the Twins, but we know one thing-- they are very streaky.

CATHY WURZER: Exactly. Hey, Eric, let's talk about the PWHL Minnesota team. We're going to talk to the coach, by the way, on the morning show tomorrow morning here on the air. So they're tied 1-1, is that right?

ERIC NELSON: Yeah, yeah, exactly right, Cathy. So PWHL Minnesota against Boston-- none of these teams have nicknames yet. I think that's a missed marketing opportunity, but I digress. They're tied 1-1 in a best-of-five championship series known as the Walter Cup.

So you have the Stanley Cup in the NHL. PWHL has the Walter Cup. Game 3 is Friday in Saint Paul, and also Game 4 Sunday at the X in Saint Paul. And we'll see if the Minnesota hockey team can close this thing out in the Twin Cities.

As far as the Lynx go, the basketball team, they play tonight in Connecticut against the Sun, who are 3 and 0. The Lynx are 2 and 0 thanks to a couple of wins over Seattle. And how about this, Cathy-- Minnesota all-star Napheesa Collier is the WNBA player of the week after her performances against the Seattle Storm.

It's her fifth player of the week honor. She's the fourth Lynx player to win the award five or more times. Maya Moore won it 20 times, Seimone Augustus seven, and Sylvia Fowles six. By the way, Seimone Augustus just named as an assistant coach at LSU.

CATHY WURZER: I saw that.

ERIC NELSON: Where she played college hoops. And Caitlin Clark, I think we remember her, the Indiana Fever now 0 and 5 after losing to Seattle last night. Clark did have 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists in the loss. But she's still looking for a win as a pro.

CATHY WURZER: And are you both going to be at the T-Wolves game tomorrow night?


WALLY LANGFELLOW: I'm 50-50 right now. I think, Eric, you're going to be there, right?


ERIC NELSON: Cathy, you have a chance to watch the Twins, and walk across Target Plaza, and catch the Timberwolves--

CATHY WURZER: I'm working.

ERIC NELSON: You can double dip if you want.

CATHY WURZER: I'm working tomorrow night. It's called Almanac on TPT. So sorry. Someone's got to work. All right, you guys, I'll talk to you later. Thank you.

ERIC NELSON: See ya, Cathy.



CATHY WURZER: Wally Langfellow is the founder of Minnesota Score sports magazine. Eric Nelson works for CBS Radio sports. Together, they host the sports talk show 10,000 Takes on radio and TV.

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