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Jokic, 20 seconds at end of first half do in Timberwolves, Nuggets win by eight to tie series 2-2

In Sports
May 13, 2024
2024 NBA Playoffs - Denver Nuggets v Minnesota Timberwolves

2024 NBA Playoffs – Denver Nuggets v Minnesota Timberwolves

Twenty seconds were the difference in this game.

An Anthony Edwards 3-pointer cut the Nuggets lead to seven with 48.3 seconds left in the first half — then came an insane final 20.2 seconds of the half:
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit a 3.
• Edwards lost the ball, and Michael Porter Jr. turned it into a dunk.
• Jalmal Murray stole an ill-advised Nickeil Alexander-Walker pass and hit a half-courter at the buzzer.

It was an 8-0 Nuggets run that made it a 15-point game at the half.

Denver ended up winning by eight, 115-107.

The Nuggets bounced back after losing two games at home and won two on the road, and the series is now tied 2-2 heading back to Denver for a critical Game 5 on Tuesday.

“We never thought this would be a short series. We thought it was going to be a long one,” Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said.

Anthony Edwards was brilliant for Finch and the Timberwolves, scoring 44 points, including going 5-of-8 from 3. He was the single best player on the floor. Again.

However, Edwards’ teammates did not give him enough consistent help. Karl-Anthony Towns struggled and shot 5-of-18 from the floor, while Mike Conley shot 5-of-12 and Alexader-Walker hit 1-of-7 off the bench.

Meanwhile, the Nuggets “non-shooters” kept hitting big shots.

The Nuggets had played off Aaron Gordon some and he responded with 27 points on 11-of-12 shooting.

Christian Braun knocked down a big 3-pointer in the fourth and had 11.

Meanwhile, the Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray two-man game is back, confounding the Timberwolves. Jokic scored 35 with seven rebounds and seven assists, while Murray had 19 points and eight dimes.

It’s the little things, the short stretches that have changed this series. The officials have not let Minnesota be as physical defensively as they were in Game 2. There was Minnesota shooting 18-of-27 on free throws and leaving easy points on the table.

And there was the 8-0 run in the final 20 seconds of the first half.

Denver is too good a team, they don’t beat themselves and win games on the margins.

Minnesota has to get back to winning those little things to win this series, which is now a best-of-3.

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