The Nuggets Bounced Back In A Big Way To Take Game 3 From The Timberwolves SuperNayr

The Denver Nuggets did not look like champions during the first two games of their Western Conference Semifinal series against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Despite the games taking place in Denver, the Wolves walked into the Nuggets’ building and picked up two wins, putting the upstart Western Conference contenders in the driver’s seat as the series made its way to Minnesota.

Well, the first game in the Twin Cities took place on Friday night, and in an unfortunate turn of events for the revved up home fans at the Target Center, the Nuggets looked like the champions they are. Denver bounced back in a big way on the road, picking up a 117-90 win to cut Minnesota’s lead in the series to 2-1.

After spending Game 2 in a constant state of being sped up, the Nuggets looked far more composed and deliberate during the first quarter of Friday’s game. They avoided turning the ball over and didn’t try to do anything out of rhythm, which gave them the added bonus of being able to set up their defense on the other end of the floor.

As such, both Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. got off to hot starts — each had eight points — while the Wolves only shot 3-for-11 from three. This let Denver open up a 28-20 lead after one, their largest lead of the series to that point.

Denver continued to keep a vice grip on the game, showing off the composure that won them a championship last year as the lead grew to as many as 20 points. Every time that Minnesota started to chip into the lead — at one point, a 7-0 run got it down to 13 — the Nuggets had an answer that kept themselves from ever being in too much jeopardy.

By the time the two teams went into the locker room at halftime, Denver found itself in total control, as it held onto a 56-41 lead. Murray’s 18 points led all scorers, with Porter going for 12. Jokic, as is usually the case, was on triple-double watch by the time he got into the locker room for halftime with seven points, nine rebounds, and six assists. Minnesota was paced by Towns, who had 12 points and made all four of his attempts from three. But no one else was able to hit the double-figure scoring mark against a connected and disciplined Nuggets defense, although Edwards had nine points to go along with four assists and three rebounds.

The third quarter followed essentially the same script, with Denver continuing to build out its lead, Minnesota hitting a shot or two to try its hardest to get into a groove, and the Nuggets completely cutting them off at the pass. The lead would grow and grow, ballooning up to as many as 29 points as Denver tore apart the best defense in the league.

While anything can happen in the NBA, it sure seemed like the 93-66 lead the defending champions carried into the fourth quarter would be insurmountable. That, in fact, turned out to be the case, as Minnesota emptied its bench with just under six minutes remaining, while Denver did the same shortly after.

Murray and Jokic led all scorers with 24 points each. The former had five assists, four rebounds, and three steals, while the latter did a little bit of everything, going for 14 rebounds, nine assists, three steals, and three blocks. Porter chipped in 21 points, while Aaron Gordon had 13 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 12. No one on the Timberwolves eclipsed 20 points on the night, with Edwards coming the closest thanks to a 19-point effort.

Game 4 between the Nuggets and the Timberwolves will take place on Sunday night at 8 p.m. on TNT.

Source link

Leave a Comment