The Wolves Made A Statement By Blowing Out The Nuggets To Win Game 2 SuperNayr

Despite the fact that Rudy Gobert was not with the team to celebrate the birth of his first child, the Minnesota Timberwolves used Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals to grind the defending champions to dust. Minnesota took on the Denver Nuggets, which looked to tie the series up at one game each after the Wolves stunned them in Game 1. But instead, we were treated to one of the most impressive efforts that we’ve seen all season by Minnesota, and as a result, the Timberwolves took a 2-0 series lead with an emphatic, 106-80 win.

The first quarter was a duel between a pair of frontcourt players: Karl-Anthony Towns and Aaron Gordon. Gordon led all scorers with 13 points, but Towns was not far behind with 11. And unfortunately for Gordon, the rest of his teammates were just a bit off — the rest of the Nuggets shot 3-for-12 from the field in the first, while Nikola Jokic had three turnovers in the frame. As such, Minnesota took a 28-20 lead into the second quarter.

And then, in the second quarter, the Timberwolves played one of the most impressive quarters that any team has played all postseason. They outscored the defending champs by a 33-15 margin, and showed off defensive highs that no other team in the league can reach.

The lead got up to as many as 28 points, and ultimately, Minnesota was able to take a 61-35 lead into the locker room at the half. Towns’ 20 points and Edwards’ 16 points led the way, while the team tore up Denver’s defense, as they shot 22-for-44 (54.5 percent) from the field and 7-for-17 (41.2 percent) from three. As for Denver, Gordon had 15 points, making him the only player to hit double-digits. It was all ugly going up against the Wolves defense, as the Nuggets turned it over nine times, shot 14-for-43 (32.6 percent) from the field, and only connected on four of their 14 attempts from three.

Denver was able to make a small dent in the lead over the course of the third quarter, but it wasn’t much. While Minnesota extended its lead in the quarter to as many as 32 points, the Nuggets were able to end the frame on a 14-4 run to give themselves just a hint of momentum — and a slightly less insurmountable mountain to climb — as the game entered the fourth with the Wolves leading, 82-60.

While the Nuggets got the lead down to 19 early on in the final frame, they never got any closer, as the Wolves always had a quick response whenever they sensed even the tiniest bit of danger. With 3:29 left in the game and Minnesota up by 24, Michael Malone decided to empty his bench, and Micah Nori was not far behind in doing the same thing. In fact, the most notable moment of the quarter came with the reserves on the floor, when the Timberwolves faithful chanted “Wolves in 4” in the opposing team’s arena.

Towns and Edwards both went for 27 points — the former pitched in 12 rebounds, while the latter had seven assists, two rebounds, and two steals. Both Naz Reid and Nickeil Alexander-Walker provided a scoring punch off the bench, with each going for 14 points. Denver was led by a 20-point outing from Gordon, while Jokic had a bad game by his lofty standards, as the presumed 2023-24 NBA MVP had 16 points on 5-for-13 shooting with 16 rebounds, eight assists, and four turnovers. As a team, the Nuggets only shot 34.9 percent from the field and 30 percent from three.

Now, the series will shift back to Minnesota, where a startling truth is staring everyone in the face: If the Timberwolves can defend their home court, they will sweep the defending champions and earn a berth in the Western Conference Finals. Game 3 will take place on Friday night, and is scheduled to tip off at 9:30 a.m. EST on ESPN.

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