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Timberwolves vs Nuggets: Wolves force Game 7 with 45-Points Win over Nuggets

Wolves force Game 7 with 45-Points Win over Nuggets

Minnesota Timberwolves roared back to life on Thursday night, emphatically defeating the Denver Nuggets 115-70 in Game 6 of their second-round playoff series. This dominant win not only evened the series at 3-3 but also forced a thrilling Game 7 back in Denver on Sunday. The victory marked the second-largest by a team facing elimination in NBA playoff history, a testament to the Wolves’ resilience and newfound determination.

The opening minutes unfolded ominously for the Timberwolves. Denver raced out to a quick 9-2 lead, fueled by Minnesota’s sluggish defensive rotations and a lack of offensive energy. However, a timeout called by Coach Chris Finch proved to be a turning point. Following the brief pause, the Wolves emerged a completely different team. Their defensive intensity skyrocketed. They started swarming the Nuggets on the perimeter, contesting every shot attempt and clogging driving lanes. This defensive clampdown forced Denver into rushed possessions and a multitude of turnovers.

Edwards Takes Center Stage, Towns Orchestrates

On the offensive end, Anthony Edwards ignited the Timberwolves. He attacked the rim with ferocity, slashing through the Nuggets’ defense and converting acrobatic layups. Edwards’ explosiveness was on full display as he poured in a game-high 27 points. But the scoring wasn’t a one-person show. Minnesota displayed a beautiful display of ball movement, with Karl-Anthony Towns operating effectively as the team’s floor general. 

Despite facing constant double-teams from Denver’s defense, Towns showcased his improved playmaking ability by dishing out a season-high five assists. This unselfish approach created open looks for his teammates, most notably Jaden McDaniels, who chipped in with an efficient 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting.

Jokic Frustrated, Murray Muzzled

The key to the Timberwolves’ defensive success was their strategy against reigning MVP Nikola Jokic. They opted to double-team him early and often, refusing to allow him to establish a comfortable rhythm in the post. This tactic forced Jokic to make quick decisions, disrupting his ability to orchestrate Denver’s offense. The ploy worked wonders. 

Jokic, visibly frustrated, finished with a modest 22 points and a season-low two assists. Jamal Murray, hampered by a nagging calf injury, also struggled mightily. He appeared tentative throughout the game, settling for contested jump shots and failing to penetrate the Wolves defense with his usual explosiveness. Murray finished with a disappointing 10 points on a dismal 4-of-18 shooting night.

Looking Ahead to a Decisive Game 7

With the series tied at 3-3, the pressure now shifts to Denver. The Nuggets will need a much better showing from their two-star players, Jokic and Murray, if they hope to defend their championship title. The Wolves, on the other hand, will look to build on the momentum gained from this dominant performance. Their stifling defense and newfound offensive cohesion have proven to be a winning formula. That sets the stage for a heart-stopping Game 7, a winner-take-all battle that promises to be a classic playoff showdown. 

FINAL: Timberwolves 115, Nuggets 70

(Series tied, 3-3)

Notable stats

Anthony Edwards: 27 pts, 4 reb, 4 ast, 3 stl

Jaden McDaniels: 21 pts,4 reb, 2 blk

Karl-Anthony Towns: 10 pts, 13 reb, 5 ast

Nikola Jokic: 22 pts, 9 reb, 2 ast

Aaron Gordon: 12 pts, 8 reb, 4 ast

Jamal Murray: 10 pts, 5 ast, 4-18 FG