NBA legend Charles Barkley blasted the Minnesota Timberwolves after they threw away a massive lead in their play-off series against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The home side had a 26-point lead at one point in the first half, before it quickly evaporated.
“That was embarrassing for basketball,” Barkley said at full time.
“The coaching staff of Minnesota should be just as embarrassed as the players.”
The comeback began late in the second quarter as the lead had already withered away to single digits.
“When you’ve got a big lead like that, you have to do stupid stuff for the other team to come back,” Barkley said at half-time.
“If you’ve got a 26-point lead and you’re only up seven at the half-time, you have to do some stupid stuff. The Minnesota Timberwolves? They’ve got a lot of talent, but they’re dumber than rocks.”
After the interval, the Timberwolves again went on a big run and led by as many as 23 points before completely collapsing in a brutal fourth quarter.
The Grizzlies outscored the Timberwolves 37-12 in the final period, Desmond Bane finishing with 26 points, 21 of which came via three-pointers.
Brandon Clarke scored 16 of his 20 in the second half and Ja Morant had a triple-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
D’Angelo Russell had 22 points and eight assists, while former top draft pick Karl-Anthony Towns again struggled, finishing with eight points.
Game four will again be in Minnesota, with the Grizzlies taking a 2-1 series lead into that contest on Sunday afternoon (AEST).
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