The Denver Nuggets recover with a dominant 117-90 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves

Published Categorized as NBA No Comments on The Denver Nuggets recover with a dominant 117-90 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves
Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray at the court

The Denver Nuggets were too determined, experienced, proud, and talented to let their poor performance in the first two games affect this series against the rising Minnesota Timberwolves.

This is what NBA champions do — they quiet a loud crowd, accept the booing, and take back the momentum.

Jamal Murray bounced back from a tough start in the Western Conference semifinals with 24 points to lead the Nuggets to a dominant 117-90 win in Game 3 on Friday night, making the Timberwolves the last team to lose in this postseason.

“It actually helps you improve because you have to react,” said Murray, who faced boos whenever he had the ball. “It forces you to focus and support your teammates.”

Nikola Jokic, the three-time league MVP, contributed 24 points, 14 rebounds, and nine assists, while Michael Porter Jr. added 21 points. The Nuggets narrowed Minnesota’s series lead to 2-1 with their impressive 14-for-29 shooting from beyond the arc.

Anthony Edwards led the Wolves with 19 points, but they struggled from deep, making only 10 of 32 attempts, despite Karl-Anthony Towns shooting 4-for-5. They couldn’t get enough shots for Towns (14 points) and played slower than in the first two games in Denver, falling behind by as much as 34 points.

Karl Anthony Town pumped after making a basket

“I’ll take responsibility for this defeat. I started the game with no energy at all. I can’t afford to let my team down like that. I disappointed my team, coaches, and fans,” Edwards said. “I’ll be prepared for Sunday.”

The Nuggets became the 30th team in NBA playoff history to lose the first two games at home in a best-of-seven series. Five teams have come back to win after that.

“You’re always learning about human nature and what players are made of,” Nuggets coach Mike Malone said. This was the progress Denver really needed, scoring over 100 points for the first time in three games against Minnesota’s top-ranked defense in the NBA.

“Everything was precise. Everything was quick,” Jokic said. Murray, who only scored 25 points on 9-for-32 shooting with a minus-38 rating in the first two games, was fined $100,000 by the NBA for throwing a heat pack onto the floor from the bench.

The serious-faced point guard excelled with a combination of jump shots and fadeaways created by dribble-handoffs, clearly showing more energy after three days of rest for his strained left calf muscle that had been bothering him for the past few weeks.

Jokic and Aaron Gordon also helped initiate the offense, reducing the ball-handling burden on Murray. “His teammates created opportunities for him, but he was aggressive and made shots early on,” Malone said. “I think he enjoys those moments when he’s seen as the villain.”

The champions not only brought back the energy they promised after their poor performance at home, but they also made enough shots to keep the Wolves and their active defense honest. The fouls increased, and Wolves defensive standout Jaden McDaniels got into foul trouble.

Anthony Edwards reacts ater missing a basket

After beating Phoenix and dominating Denver in the first two games, the Wolves faced a reality check after their impressive Game 2 win in Denver. The chant of “Wolves in 4!” that started just before the game quickly disappeared.

The Nuggets took control early, leading 28-20 after the first quarter, their biggest lead of the series so far, and they didn’t slow down. They were up by 20 points late in the second quarter.

The Wolves had NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert back after he missed Game 2 for the birth of his son, but the Nuggets moved the ball so well outside the paint that his long arms didn’t make much of a difference.

Gordon made two consecutive 3-pointers, and Porter made one on the next possession in the middle of the third quarter, making it 72-50 and stopping another small Wolves comeback.

By the beginning of the fourth quarter, fans started to leave their seats. Frustrated by the many calls against them during the game, Wolves reserves Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kyle Anderson each got technical fouls during a timeout with 5:54 left for arguing with the officials.

“We deserve to be noticed, but we knew they were going to try to make a comeback,” Alexander-Walker said.

Kai Soriano

By Kai Soriano

Kai Soriano, hailing from the picturesque archipelago of the Philippines, is not just your average writer. With a flair for capturing the essence of the NFL through words, Kai stands out as a leading NFL Content Writer. Blending his passion for sports with his impeccable writing skills, he delivers content that is both engaging and insightful. Dive into his pieces, and experience the game as if you're right there on the field! 🏈

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *