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Can Timberwolves avoid elimination?

Jesse D. Garrabrant / National Basketball Association / Getty

The Celtics advanced to their second NBA Finals in three years with a sweep of the depleted Pacers. Now, they await their Western Conference foe.

The Mavericks lead 3-0 and are -1800 (95% implied probability) to advance to the Finals. If they win Tuesday, it'll be the first time in NBA history both conference finals end in sweeps.

Can the Timberwolves extend the series and avoid being part of history? Here are our best bets for Tuesday's action.

Timberwolves @ Mavericks (-2, O/U 210)

This series is closer than the score indicates.

According to ESPN, Dallas has trailed in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter in each game and outscored Minnesota by 13 through three contests - the second-lowest point differential in NBA history from a playoff team with a 3-0 lead.

The Wolves have gone cold in the final few minutes of each game. Part of that is Dallas' impressive defense, but Minnesota should have some positive regression coming.

The Mavs' stars have outplayed Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns, who have been disappointing throughout the series. The Wolves need them to have a greater impact if they're going to secure a victory.

Maybe the Wolves roll over and quit on the brink of elimination, but I expect them to fight and finally knock down clutch shots.

Pick: Wolves +2

Daniel Gafford: Over 18.5 points and rebounds

Gafford's rebounding and defensive efforts have been monumental for Dallas. He's successfully protected the rim against a towering Minnesota frontcourt.

Gafford and Dereck Lively II usually split minutes at center, but Lively is out for Game 4 due to a concussion, so Gafford's workload will inevitably increase. He's averaging 23.7 minutes in this series, but expect him to play at least 30 in Game 4.

Gafford's a lob threat and a putback machine. He'll have more opportunities to grab boards and score with more playing time.

Odds: -108

Sam Oshtry is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on X @soshtry for more betting coverage.

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