Timberwolves vs. Suns: Game 4 live

Follow the Wolves-Suns game night by night here.

Star Tribune staff writer Chris Hayne is in Phoenix to report live before, during and after Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference quarterfinal series between the Timberwolves and Suns at Footprint Center. The Wolves took a 3-0 lead into tonight's game.

10:37 p.m.: Devin Booker puts the Suns on his back and leads by two after three

The Wolves had good third quarters in all series against the Suns, but while they cut into Phoenix's lead after halftime, they still trailed 92-90 in the fourth quarter as the game opened up for both teams offensively.

The Wolves appeared to be in trouble 55 seconds into the third period when Rudy Gobert picked up his fourth foul defending Jusuf Nurkic. But with Gobert out, the Wolves finally got their first good offense of the night, as Anthony Edwards led a quick 8-0 run with a pair of threes and an assist to Jaden McDaniels.

With Gobert out, Phoenix was able to capitalize on the offensive end, even when Bradley Beal sat on the bench and committed four fouls.

But the Wolves had no answer for Devin Booker and Kevin Durant, who scored 37 and 31 points, respectively, after three quarters. Booker is 15-for-16 at the free throw line.

Edwards got the Wolves going offensively with 15 goals in the quarter, including four threes.

Karl-Anthony Towns has 26 and Edwards has 24 for the Wolves.

9:50pm: Wolves' shots in the first half were lackluster, and the Suns take the lead

The Wolves' shooting woes continued in the second quarter and they trailed the Suns 61-56 at halftime.

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They finished just 17-for-45 from the floor and 4-for-18 from three-point range which led to their deficit.

Karl-Anthony Towns was 3-for-3 from three-point range, and the rest of the team was 1-for-17.

Anthony Edwards was 2-for-8 in the first half as neither team had a significant lead over the other throughout the back-and-forth half. Phoenix's five-point lead represented its largest lead of the half.

Kevin Durant scored 20 points in 23 minutes in the first half while Devin Booker scored 19 points, including a buzzer-beater as time expired.

Towns led the Wolves with 15 points, while McDaniels scored 11 points. The Wolves committed only five turnovers in the first half, but the Suns turned them into 12 points.

9:10 p.m.: The Suns come to play, and lead by one

The Timberwolves got off to a cold start in the first quarter but trailed just 26-25 heading into the second quarter.

The Wolves shot 5-for-22 in the first quarter but went 14-for-15 from the free throw line.

Rudy Gobert had early foul trouble as he committed two early fouls, both on the same possession, but the Wolves' defense held up without him on the floor.

Anthony Edwards started the night 0-for-5.

Jaden McDaniels led the Wolves with eight points, while Devin Booker scored nine points for Phoenix, six of which came at the foul line.

The Wolves shot just 1-for-9 from three-point range.

7:14 p.m.: The waiting is the hardest part

For Timberwolves coach Chris Finch, the wait for the playoff series is actually the hardest part.

Finch was asked before tonight's game how his team handled its business in training and meetings between games, and he said it was hard not to get nervous in a series that was so far apart.

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There were two days off between Games 1, 2 and 3 with only one day off between Games 3 and 4 for the first time in the series.

“This was a slow series, we had two days between each game,” he said. “When you're in these things, regardless of whether you're up or down, the hardest thing I think is just waiting. When you're playing a game and then you break it down and you kind of know what you want to do and what you need to do, what you think they're going to do and how you need to counter it.” And you want to put it into practice, waiting for me is probably the hardest.

The Wolves did not have an official practice on Saturday or a shootout on Sunday as they opted to rest more before Game 4. With the game over, Finch wants his team to not react too strongly to the emotions of the game.

“It's the same thing we've been talking about since the first game,” Finch said. “You have to stay level-headed. What happens, the emotion in the building will be high. The opponent's emotion will be high. Everyone's emotion will be high. You have to stay in the game, in the game plan, weather the storm and try not to beat yourself up by playing silly.”

6:37 p.m.: Grayson Allen will not play for Phoenix

Suns guard Grayson Allen was the best player in the NBA by percentage this season, but an ankle injury he suffered in Game 1 aggravated in Game 2 and kept him out of Game 3.

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Phoenix coach Frank Vogel said before the game that Allen would not play tonight, leaving a hole in the Suns' lineup because their three-point shooting was subpar.

Royce O'Neal is expected to start in Allen's place alongside Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker and Jusuf Nurkic.

The starting lineup for the Wolves is Rudy Gobert, Mike Conley, Jaden McDaniels, Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards.

5 p.m.: Finch third in NBA Coach of the Year voting

Finch was a finalist for the NBA Coach of the Year award, but in the end, he had no chance.

Mark Daigneault of the Oklahoma City Thunder was the winner of the wild card race, receiving 89 of the 99 first-place votes. The Thunder secured first place in the West in the 39-year-old Daigneault's fourth season. OKC went from a 40-42 record to 57-25.

The Wolves improved from 42-40 to 56-26 in the 54-year-old Finch's fourth season. This was the second best regular season record for the franchise which was 58-24 in 2003-24. The Timberwolves, after 35 seasons, still have the worst winning percentage (.411) in NBA history.

Finch finished third in Coach of the Year voting. Daigneault received 89 first-place votes, nine second-place votes and a third with 473 points. Jamal Mosli (4-36-30-158) came in second place, followed by Finch (1-23-31-105).

Other first-place votes went to Boston's Joe Mazzola (2), New York's Tom Thibodeau (2) and Miami's Erik Spoelstra (1).

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