Timberwolves overcome 20-point deficit to stun defending-champion Nuggets in Game 7

The NBA Conference Finals are set after the second Game 7 on Sunday saw the Minnesota Timberwolves take down the Denver Nuggets, 98-90.

Unlike the league’s earlier Game 7, when the Indiana Pacers made history with their fantastic shooting in a dominant win over the New York Knicks, this one was a dogfight in which Minnesota didn’t pull away until late in the fourth quarter. 

The Nuggets, the reigning NBA champions playing at home in this matchup, had all the momentum going for them on Sunday – to where they had a 20-point, 58-38, lead early in the third quarter. 

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Then, Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards finally got shots to fall, and good offense led to great defense on the other end of the floor. 

The Timberwolves won the third quarter, 28-14, and they just kept it going into the fourth quarter. Minnesota would have a 30-point swing, which was capped by an Edwards three-pointer that made it 92-82 with 3:07 remaining in the game. 

Nuggets fans at Ball Arena were screaming to keep their team in it, but the Timberwolves’ hustle proved to be too much in the end. 

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Nikola Jokic, who was gassed at the end of this game after sitting just one minute, made his final bucket with 1:02 left to cut the T-Wolves’ lead to five points. There was still a fleeting chance they could come back, but Karl-Anthony Towns – Minnesota’s co-leading scorer – put an exclamation mark on the victory with a putback dunk on a Mike Conley missed layup. 

Towns finished with 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting with 12 rebounds, two steals, two assists and one block to help his squad reach the Conference Finals. Teammate Jaden McDaniels also poured in 23 points on 7-of-10 from the field, including three three-pointers with six rebounds. 

The performance by McDaniels was needed because Edwards, who has been Minnesota’s go-to scorer, didn’t have the best day with the rock in his hand. He finished with 16 points on 6-of-24 shooting, including 2-of-10 from beyond the arc.

However, his hustle never quit, as he had eight rebounds, seven assists and two steals for the T-Wolves.

Minnesota also saw quality minutes from the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year, Naz Reid, who racked up a couple of clutch buckets in the fourth quarter, including a putback dunk like Towns. He had 11 points and four rebounds. 

For the Nuggets, they failed to hit their shots from three, finishing 24.2% as a team. Jokic, who went 2-of-10 from there, ended with 34 points and 19 rebounds during his marathon of a Game 7. 

Jamal Murray had a game-high 35 points, but he also struggled from three with only four of his 12 attempts falling. He went 13-of-27 in the field overall with three rebounds and three assists.

After the stunning come-from-behind victory, Minnesota will now play host to Dallas on Wednesday to kick off the series that will determine who represents the West in the NBA Finals.  

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