Minnesota Timberwolves End 14-Year Drought, Clinch NBA Playoffs Spot

Jeff Teague attempted a shot in the second half. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ

Whether or not the Minnesota Timberwolves will go to the playoffs for the first time in 14 years, or go home, hinges on tomorrow night's regular season finale with Denver. It's the first time since 1997 - and only the third time since the National Basketball Association went to this postseason format in 1983 - that two teams will play on the season's final day in such a situation. They had the opportunity to secure their first appearance in the playoffs since Kevin Garnett was patrolling the post with Latrell Sprewell as a wing man and Sam Cassell running the offense in 2004.

Luckily for every National Basketball Association fan watching, the game was close throughout and even featured a dramatic overtime period.

En route to a 112-106 victory, Jimmy Butler posted 31 points with five rebounds and five assists in 42 minutes to lead the T-Wolves.

Now, the Timberwolves move on to play the NBA-best Houston Rockets in the first round. Nikola Jokic started the run with a three, then Jamal Murray scored seven straight to tie it and force overtime. But, in the end, they came up just short of capturing the eighth seed.

Minnesota could potentially clinch a playoff spot with a win Monday over the Memphis Grizzlies, but would need some help with losses by Sacramento (facing San Antonio) and Denver (hosting Portland).

- It was the Timberwolves' biggest game in almost a decade and a half, a winner-take-all affair that had the potential to propel Minnesota into the playoffs or send them home in despair-and it did not disappoint.

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