Sunday’s contest between the Trail Blazers and the Timberwolves was basically a must-win situation for a Minnesota team hoping to keep its playoff dreams alive with just four games remaining in the regular season.
Portland, on the other hand, had some major incentive to lose and boost its odds in the upcoming NBA draft lottery after officially being eliminated from postseason contention last week.
The Timberwolves looked poised to walk away with an easy win against a Trail Blazers squad that trotted out a starting lineup filled with players who usually ride the bench, and it’s safe to say that B-team was facing an uphill battle when you consider Minnesota was favored to win by around 19.5 points based on the odds that were posted at most sportsbooks.
However, the underdog apparently didn’t get the memo.
Karl-Anthony Towns was held to just eight points over the course of a contest where the Trail Blazers were not only able to hang with the overwhelming favorite but ultimately walked away with an absolutely massive upset that saw Portland finish on top by a score of 107-105.
The fact that the T-Wolves were close to 20-point favorites is really all you need to know when it comes to highlighting the borderline impressive nature of that choke job.
However, if you’re looking for a little more context, you may be interested to know Minnesota achieved a dubious distinction no NBA team has been able to claim in close to three decades, as you have to go all the way back to 1993 to find a game where another team was able to defy the spread to such a huge degree.
The Trail Blazers upset the Timberwolves today as 19.5-point underdogs.
It’s the largest point spread upset in the NBA since the Mavericks (+19.5) beat the SuperSonics on April 6, 1993 and tied for the second-largest upset since 1990-91, per @ESPNStatsInfo.
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) April 2, 2023
As things currently stand, Minnesota will need a bit of a miracle if it wants to avoid the play-in tournament—and based on how they fared on Sunday, it seems very hard to believe they’ll be unable to escape that fate.