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NBA playoffs: Nuggets stun Timberwolves with Jamal Murray prayer; tie series, reclaim home-court advantage



NBA playoffs: Nuggets stun Timberwolves with Jamal Murray prayer; tie series, reclaim home-court advantage

The champs are again. So is the MVP.

Led by scorching taking pictures and a shocking surge to conclude the second quarter, the Denver Nuggets secured a 115-107 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday. After dropping the primary two video games at house, Denver has tied the collection at 2-2 and re-seized the home-court benefit it earlier ceded within the Western Convention semifinals.

The Nuggets took management on Sunday with a 12-0 run late within the first quarter that ended with Denver main, 29-24. A 12-2 run to start out the second quarter prolonged the result in 41-26 earlier than Anthony Edwards clawed the Timberwolves to again inside 56-49.

Then the Nuggets shocked Goal Heart.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope matched an Edwards 3-pointer with one in all his personal with 20 seconds left within the half. Aaron Gordon then stripped Edwards to arrange a Michael Porter Jr. fast-break dunk with 1.6 seconds left within the half, seemingly capping a 5-0 Nuggets run to conclude the quarter. However Denver wasn’t completed.

Jamal Murray stole an errant Nickeil Alexander-Walker inbounds go down the best sideline and launched the ball from 55 ft because the clocked ticked down. It sank by way of the web because the buzzer sounded to cap an 8-0 run within the closing 20 seconds of the half to increase Denver’s result in 64-49.

A 16-point Denver lead had been lower to seven then re-extended again to fifteen within the blink of a watch. Edwards continued to steer the Timberwolves’ battle after halftime. However Minnesota by no means recovered.

Minnesota lower its deficit to as shut as 113-107 within the closing minute. However the Nuggets maintained a double-digit lead by way of many of the second half to ship the collection again to Denver for a pivotal Recreation 5 at house. They’ve regained their swagger after being outmatched and outplayed by the upstart Timberwolves within the first two video games of the collection.

Jamal Murray hit another big playoff shot Sunday to help propel the Nuggets to victory.  (David Berding/Getty Images)

Jamal Murray hit one other massive playoff shot Sunday to assist propel the Nuggets to victory. (David Berding/Getty Pictures)

Like of their Recreation 3 win on Friday, the Nuggets received the sport with scorching taking pictures from the sphere and from past the 3-point arc. Murray, Gordon and Nikola Jokić took turns in starring roles to battle again a 44-point effort from Edwards.

The Nuggets shot 57% from the sphere and 13 of 29 (44.8%) from 3-point distance on a powerful taking pictures night time from nearly their complete eight-man rotation. 4 days after profitable his third MVP along with his Nuggets trailing within the collection, 2-0, Jokić led the Nuggets effort with 35 factors, seven rebounds, seven assists, three steals and a block. He shot 15 of 26 from the sphere and scored 16 factors within the fourth quarter.

Gordon was on a heater the complete recreation. He hit his first 10 pictures en path to an 11-of-12 effort from the ground that produced 27 factors, seven rebounds, six assists, two blocks and a steal.

Murray completed with 19 factors, eight assists and 5 rebounds whereas taking pictures 8 of 17 from the sphere and three of seven from past the arc. He seems to be previous the calf harm that hobbled him within the first two video games of the collection and the frustrations that earned him a $100,000 nice after he threw a number of gadgets onto the court docket throughout Recreation 2’s blowout loss at house.

Denver’s bench got here by way of as nicely. Justin Vacation, Christian Braun and Reggie Jackson mixed for 27 factors whereas collectively taking pictures 8 of 14 from the sphere and 6 of 9 from 3-point distance. Braun and Vacation powered Denver’s surge early within the second quarter because it prolonged its result in 42-28.

The Nuggets did all this in opposition to the league’s greatest protection from the common season that shut them down within the first two video games of the collection. The Timberwolves’ offense, in the meantime, could not sustain.

Edwards, as he is completed all through the playoffs, powered the Minnesota assault. He scored 9 of Minnesota’s first 15 factors because the Timberwolves jumped out to a 15-9 lead. He saved up the stress all through the sport whereas taking pictures 16 of 25 from the sphere and 5 of 8 from 3 on a 44-point, five-rebound, five-assist effort.

He simply did not get sufficient assist from his supporting solid as Minnesota’s protection took a step again for a second straight recreation.

Karl-Anthony Cities shot a career-worst 1-of-10 within the first half. He completed the sport with 13 factors and 12 rebounds whereas taking pictures 5 of 18 from the sphere and 1 of 4 from lengthy distance. Jaden McDaniels tallied 11 factors and two rebounds whereas making an attempt simply eight pictures from the sphere. Rudy Gobert posted 11 factors and 14 rebounds, however Minnesota’s entrance line struggled to include Jokić because it did by way of the primary two video games of the collection. It had no reply for Gordon.

Minnesota shot nicely (47.6% from the sphere, 39.3% from 3), but it surely wasn’t sufficient in opposition to a Nuggets group that solved its protection for a second straight recreation.

Solely 5 groups in NBA historical past have rallied to win a best-of-seven collection after dropping the primary two video games at house. Denver’s rallied to show this collection right into a best-of-three because it makes an attempt to develop into the sixth.

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