Timberwolves coach Chris Finch ruptures patellar tendon in sideline collision

April 29 (UPI) -- Minnesota Timberwolves coach Chris Finch collided with veteran guard Mike Conley on the sideline during a playoff win over the Phoenix Suns and ruptured the patellar tendon in his right knee, the team announced.

The incident occurred with 1:40 remaining in the 122-116 victory Sunday in Phoenix. The Timberwolves clinched the first-round series with the triumph, which completed a four-game sweep, and advanced to the Western Conference semifinals.


"The whole team went down to the medical room," assistant coach Micah Nori, who filled in for Finch for a postgame news conference, told reporters, when asked about Finch.

"He's obviously in good spirits and so are the guys."

Recovery for a patellar tendon tear can span from weeks to months, with an early restriction in weight-bearing and immobilization of the knee.

Suns guard Devin Booker was guarding Conley during the play. Conley, who was dribbling up the right sideline pass the ball up the court as he was pushed out of bounds. He then ran into his coach, who fell on the ground and immediately clutched his right knee. He was then helped to the locker room.


The Timberwolves later posted photos of the coach. The photos showed him using crutches as he embraced star players Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns.

"That's the coach of the year and I hate to see him go down like that," Edwards said.

Edwards totaled 40 points, nine rebounds and six assists in the Game 4 win. Towns chipped in 28 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. Conley contributed 10 points and seven assists.

Booker scored a game-high 49 points in the loss. Suns forward Kevin Durant chipped in 33 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four blocks.

The Timberwolves held a 44-33 edge in rebounding. They outshot the Suns 41.7% to 38.5% from 3-point range. Edwards scored 31 in the second half, including 16 in the fourth quarter.

The third-seeded Timberwolves will face the No. 2 Denver Nuggets or No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals. The Nuggets lead the Lakers 3-1 in their first-round series. Game 4 of the best-of-seven series will tip off at 10 p.m. EDT Monday in Denver.


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