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Shaq and Chuck heading back to "cold-a** Minnesota" after Timberwolves' Game 4 win

Wolves fans aren’t ready to throw in the towel just yet
Wolves fans aren’t ready to throw in the towel just yet 02:20

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Timberwolves avoided the sweep with a Game 4 win over the Mavericks in Dallas Tuesday, giving fans a thrill and the "Inside the NBA" crew the chills.

In their postgame segment, Shaquille O'Neal, Charles Barkley and the rest of the TNT crew praised the Wolves while (jokingly) lamenting the return to Minneapolis.

"Tonight [Anthony Edwards] and [Karl-Anthony Towns] played well and now we gotta go back to cold-ass Minnesota," O'Neal said.

"It's not exactly as cold as Chuck made it out to be," Ernie Johnson said, referencing Barkley's earlier joke about it snowing in Minnesota. 

The current forecast for Thursday's Game 5 actually looks quite pleasant, with an expected high of 79, no rain and some sunshine.

Before the series started, Barkley told Edwards in an interview it had been 20 years since he was in Minnesota.

"Bring ya ass," Edwards told him, giving fans a rallying cry and social media managers in Minnesota an easy win.

While the Wolves clawed back from elimination with the win, they're still down 3-1 and one loss away from a trip to the offseason. No team in NBA history has done what they're hoping to do — come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a series.

The "Inside the NBA" acknowledged the Wolves still have a tough path forward, but did sound optimistic about the Wolves' chances Thursday night. O'Neal asked Barkley which team will win if the top four guys on each side play their best. While Barkley hemmed and hawed over the answer, Kenny Smith jumped in.

"I think if they all play their best, Minnesota is a 10-point favorite," Smith said.

Barkley eventually agreed. The whole crew praised Towns in particular for stepping up after a weak performance through the first three games of the series. Towns had 25 points and shot 4/5 from three in Tuesday's game, though he did foul out late. 

For the first time in the series, the Wolves' duo of Towns and Edwards (54 points) outscored Dallas' Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving (44). Four of the Wolves' five starters had a positive plus/minus, while only one of the Mavericks' starters did (Derrick Jones Jr.). 

Will the Wolves make history and head to the NBA Finals? To do so, they'll need three more performances similar to, or possibly even better than, Tuesday night's.

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