Anthony Edwards and Timberwolves Outplay Nuggets in Thrilling Game

Anthony Edwards and Timberwolves Outplay Nuggets in Thrilling Game

Anthony Edwards and Timberwolves clarified that their Western Conference semifinal series with Denver would continue with one more game.

Minneapolis (AP) — Anthony Edwards scored 27 points to lift the Minnesota Timberwolves out of a mid-series slump and deliver a faultless 115-70 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night, forcing a Game 7 in this nail-biting playoff clash.

Jaden McDaniels contributed 21 points and lockdown defence, while Mike Conley scored 13 points in his return from injury. Rudy Gobert, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Naz Reid combined for 38 rebounds and worked tirelessly to limit NBA MVP Nikola Jokic to a modest 22 points.

The game to determine a position in the Western Conference finals will be played in Denver on Sunday night.

Jamal Murray struggled again, scoring only 10 points on 4-for-18 shooting for the Nuggets, whose bench was outscored 36-9 – seven of those scores coming in the last five minutes. The Wolves reserves led a 24-0 run in the fourth quarter to take a 49-point advantage, building on the starters’ 20-0 surge in the first period.

Aaron Gordon scored 12 points and eight rebounds for the Nuggets, who shot 7 for 36 from three and trailed by at least 17 points for the final 31 minutes of the game.

For the Wolves, McDaniels’ offence is usually a bonus, but he can’t be as quiet as he was in the first five games, scoring 35 points. He was all over the court this time, going 3 for 5 from deep and throwing in some well-timed dunks to energize the fans.

Edwards, whose 44-point performance in Game 4 was eventually wasted the last time he played at Target Center, showed the tenacity of a top player refusing to give up the series. He had nine points in the 20-0 run and only took nine shots from the floor to score 19 points in the first half.

He converted a steal into a fast break early in the third quarter, then used two crossover dribbles to get Michael Porter Jr. airborne and burst by him for a slam. After driving past Porter to draw a foul, he landed hard on his back a few minutes later.

When Edwards returned to the court without missing a beat, the Wolves called a timeout to allow him extra space to gather himself. This sparked the “MVP!” chanting.

Edwards gave the cheering supporters a seven-finger salute as the fourth-quarter stoppage indicated the beginning of empty-the-bench time, teasing them with what was to come.

The Wolves were frequently in disarray on offence during Game 5 in Denver while Conley sat out with soreness in his right calf muscle, and the 17-year veteran point guard clearly helped keep the half-court sets crisp and organized in his return.

The Wolves held the Nuggets to 14 points in the first quarter, the league’s second-lowest total this postseason, trailing only Miami (12 points) in a Game 3 defeat to Boston in the first round.

Murray had a difficult time accomplishing anything meaningful against McDaniels and the rest of the NBA’s top defence, which came to life after displaying some significant flaws throughout the previous three games.

Murray, who went 3-for-18 in Game 2, attempted leaners, fadeaways, and spot-up 3-pointers.

He even air-balled a finger roll from the baseline before being backed down in a terrible matchup by Naz Reid in the post on the next play, resulting in a flip-in that put the Wolves ahead 43-24.

McDaniels tipped in Reid’s missed 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer to make it 59-40, a stark contrast to Murray’s 55-foot swish at the end of the second quarter in Game 3, which capped an 8-0 rally over 20 key seconds.


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