Timberwolves getting ready for Game 6 against Grizzlies Friday night

The Minnesota Timberwolves are back home, trailing 3-2, after a disappointing 111-109 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 5 of their playoff series Tuesday night.

The Timberwolves now need a win over the Grizzlies at Target Center Friday night to force a Game 7, and keep their season alive. The NBA announced Thursday morning Game 6 will start at 8 p.m. If the Timberwolves win, the two teams head back to Memphis on Sunday for a winner-take-all Game 7, which would be at 2:30 p.m.

If the Timberwolves can rally and win the final two games, they would advance to face the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals. The Warriors beat the Denver Nuggets in five game to advance.

But if you ask Timberwolves' guard Malik Beasley, the series should be over and they should be preparing for the Warriors.

"We’re waiting for tomorrow, then it’ll be a Game 7 and then go straight to Golden State. That’s how we feel. We feel confident and ready to get it done," Beasley said. "We honestly think it should be 4-1 right now. We should be resting just like Golden State. We made some mistakes. We’re a young team. We got to learn from it and bounce back. We feel confident and we’re going to get tomorrow and take one game at a time"

The Timberwolves have to move on after their second disappointing finish in three games. In Game 3, they had two 20-plus point leads and watched the Grizzlies go on a 21-0 run between the third and fourth quarter in a 104-95 victory. Tuesday night in Game 5, the Timberwolves rallied back from an early 13-2 deficit and led 85-74 after three quarters.

But the Grizzlies out-scored Minnesota 37-24 over the final 12 minutes, ignited by Ja Morant’s towering dunk over Malik Beasley to end the third quarter. The Grizzlies went on a 10-0 run and took the lead with a little more than a minute to play. They won the game on Morant’s lay-in with one second to play, after Anthony Edwards gambled for the steal on an inbounds pass and didn’t get there in time.

The Timberwolves had a chance to steal their second road win of the series, and give themselves the opportunity to close out the series Friday night on their home court, but couldn’t finish. While fans dwell on another disappointing end, the players are moving forward.

"It's going to take 48 minutes of pure desperation. There’s no more time, no more wiggle room any more for us," Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns said.

The Timberwolves have proven to themselves they can play with the No. 2-seeded Grizzlies. They limited Memphis to 41 percent shooting, and 7-of-28 from the perimeter on Tuesday. The Grizzlies were also 26-of-39 (66.7 percent) at the free-throw line. But Minnesota couldn’t overcome 23 turnovers, getting out-rebounded 53-42 and getting dominated on the glass in the fourth quarter.

Brandon Clarke got seven of his 15 rebounds in the final 12 minutes, including a tip out to Morant for a 3-pointer that gave Memphis a 107-106 lead in the fourth quarter.

"We’ve got to do a better job of making all the little plays when it matters most," Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said after the loss.

The offense got stagnant in the fourth quarter Tuesday night, and Finch says that has to change.

"The offense is too many guys who want to go 1-on-1. We talked about that ad nauseum. Everybody wants to be the hero, and that's not how you're going to win these games," Finch said Thursday.

The path is simple: Win Friday night, and the Timberwolves give themselves a chance to win a playoff series for the first time since their run to the Western Conference Finals in 2004. Lose, a season with high expectations and 46 regular season wins comes to an end.

The math is against Minnesota. Teams that win Game 5 have an 82 percent chance to win the series. The Timberwolves are also the first team in NBA history to lose double-digit leads twice in a series, and lose both games.