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Nuggets even series against Timberwolves with second road win



Nuggets even series against Timberwolves with second road win

MINNEAPOLIS — Nikola Jokic scored 16 of his 35 factors within the fourth quarter, and Aaron Gordon had 27 factors on 11-for-12 taking pictures to propel the Denver Nuggets to a series-tying 115-107 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday evening in Sport 4 of the Western Convention semifinals.

Jamal Murray had 12 of his 19 factors within the third quarter for the Nuggets in a momentum carryover from his buzzer-beating swish from behind the half-court line within the second quarter, and the Wolves solely lower the deficit beneath double digits within the second half for transient stretches.

Anthony Edwards scored 44 factors in one other spectacular efficiency for Minnesota, taking pictures 16-for-25 from the ground. However regardless of a 42-31 rebounding edge, the Wolves have been overwhelmed at their very own sport for the second straight time at residence by the defending NBA champions, who have been fired up after dropping the primary two video games of the sequence on their residence court docket.

“Sport 2 positively woke us up,” Murray mentioned. “We realized we will not maintain ourselves again.”

The sequence goes again to Denver for Sport 5 on Tuesday evening.

Mike Conley had 15 factors, Karl-Anthony Cities went simply 5-for-18 from the sphere for 13 factors and 12 rebounds, and Rudy Gobert got here alive late to attain 11 factors and seize 14 rebounds. Nonetheless, the Wolves have been on their heels at residence for a second straight outing.

Gordon did not miss till there was 3:39 to go. The Nuggets scored eight factors in 20 seconds to shut the primary half, highlighted by Murray’s inconceivable heave.

“The shot-making, the play-making, the physicality, the protection on two All-Stars, a lot is being requested of him proper now,” coach Mike Malone mentioned. “What you’re keen on about Aaron Gordon since Day 1, when he placed on that Nuggets uniform, It is at all times been in regards to the Nuggets first. He’s really selfless.”

The three off days between Video games 2 and three did the Wolves no good, yielding a 27-point defeat after which coach Chris Finch declared them feeling “fats and lazy” after all of the fawning close to and much for his or her efficiency in Denver. The Wolves wanted to reintroduce their edge instantly in Sport 4 to maintain the gang constantly roaring, and Edwards dutifully led that response.

The 2020 No. 1 draft choose scored 9 factors within the first four-plus minutes Sunday night earlier than Murray even touched the ball, with Gordon and Jokic sharing the purpose guard duties to scale back the burden on Murray and his strained left calf muscle.

After a quiet Sport 3, Edwards was on a mission to will Minnesota to win, because the Nuggets absolutely anticipated. Their loading up on him within the lane wasn’t sufficient, as he hit from all over the place on the court docket.

However the remainder of the Wolves incessantly didn’t make Denver pay for leaving them open. They missed tip-ins on the rim, not simply nook 3s. Cities missed his first seven photographs, and whereas his effort and protection by no means suffered, he was a multitude making an attempt to get the ball to the basket, not often drawing the fouls he argued for.

The Wolves confirmed off their league-best protection and their enviable depth within the first two video games, however the Nuggets copied and pasted that system on the street. When the Nuggets’ secondary scorers and bench gamers are hitting their jumpers, they’re awfully robust to beat.

Gordon, Justin Vacation (10 factors), Christian Braun (11 factors) and Reggie Jackson (six factors) went a mixed 8-for-11 from 3-point vary. They fueled a 26-4 run that bridged the primary and second quarters, and all however 5 factors on that surge got here with the four-time NBA Defensive Participant of the Yr Gobert resting on the bench.

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