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Timberwolves benefited from a few missed calls late in win over Knicks, per NBA report

Timberwolves coach Chris Finch thought the officials came into the game with the mindset of letting guys play

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at New York Knicks
New York Knicks head coach and former Minnesota Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau reacts during the second quarter against the Timberwolves on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022, at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Brad Penner / USA Today Sports
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Minnesota Timberwolves fans and players alike have felt all season as though they’ve gotten the short end of the officiating stick. The team is often on the negative side of the discrepancy.

That was not the case in their 112-110 win over the New York Knicks on Tuesday, per the NBA Officiating Last Two Minute Report. In general, the game was called tightly, with a gaudy 55 fouls called and 71 free throws attempted.

But it was three calls not made in the last two minutes of the game that the league said benefited Minnesota.

Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns should’ve been called for two separate fouls, per the report. The first came on the perimeter, where he hit Evan Fournier’s arm, causing the guard to turn the ball over.

The second came on Towns’ crucial bucket to put Minnesota in front with 29 seconds to play. That play ended with Towns converting a three-point play, but it started, the report said, with Towns grabbing Julius Randle’s arm to get past him.

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The final non-call came with 22 seconds left, when Wolves guard D’Angelo Russell nearly turned the ball over in the frontcourt. The report said Russell pushed R.J. Barrett on the ensuing loose ball.

“We had some tough calls go against us,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said after the game, “and we can’t put ourselves in a position like that where referees are a factor like that.”

Timberwolves coach Chris Finch thought the officials came into the game with the mindset of letting guys play.

“Then the physicality got up there. I thought really key was the start of the fourth,” Finch said. “We drew a bunch of fouls on them early, and that might’ve had an effect on how they guarded us the rest of the time.”

Hello, Domino's?

Immediately after Minnesota secured its win Tuesday, Towns was shown on the television broadcast standing next to his dad, while talking to someone else on the phone.

Who was on the other end of the line? It was Timberwolves’ radio play-by-play man Alan Horton. Towns was conducting his postgame interview in a less-than-conventional manner.

“I thought it was Domino’s,” Towns joked.

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