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Minnesota Timberwolves Dealt A Resounding Defeat By Denver Nuggets In Game 3


Jamal Murray bounced back from a difficult start to the Western Conference semifinals by contributing 24 points, leading the Denver Nuggets to a commanding 117-90 victory in Game 3 on Friday night. This loss marked the Minnesota Timberwolves as the last team in the NBA to be defeated this postseason.

Nikola Jokic, the three-time league MVP, delivered a strong performance with 24 points, 14 rebounds, and nine assists, while Michael Porter Jr. added 21 points. The Nuggets narrowed the Timberwolves’ series lead to 2-1 with a stellar 14-for-29 shooting from beyond the arc.

Despite Anthony Edwards leading the Wolves with 19 points, the team struggled, shooting just 10 for 32 from deep, even with a 4-for-5 effort from Karl-Anthony Towns. They faced challenges in getting Towns (14 points) enough opportunities, committed turnovers while attempting to drive to the basket, and displayed slower gameplay compared to the first two games in Denver, falling behind by as much as 34 points.

Game 4 is scheduled to take place in Minneapolis on Sunday night.

The Nuggets became the 30th team in NBA playoffs history to lose the first two games at home in a best-of-seven series, according to Sportradar research. Nonetheless, five teams have managed to rally and win, with the Los Angeles Clippers being the most recent example in the first round of 2021.

This victory was a significant stride for Denver, marking the first time they surpassed the 100-point mark in three games against Minnesota’s NBA-best defense.

Murray, who had struggled in the initial two games with only 25 points on 9-for-32 shooting and a minus-38 rating, was met with boos every time he touched the ball. However, he responded with resilience, utilizing a combination of spot-up jumpers and fadeaways to lead the Nuggets’ offensive efforts.

The game was characterized by heightened energy from the defending champions, who managed to maintain an effective offensive rhythm. Defensive standout Jaden McDaniels of the Wolves faced limitations due to foul trouble as the game progressed.

The atmosphere at Target Center was electric, reminiscent of significant moments in the franchise’s history. However, the Nuggets’ dominant performance gradually silenced the crowd, establishing a 28-20 lead after the first quarter and extending it further.

Despite the return of NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert for the Wolves, the Nuggets’ ball movement outside the paint minimized his impact. A series of successful 3-pointers from Aaron Gordon and Porter further cemented the Nuggets’ control over the game.

As the game progressed, frustrated Wolves reserves Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kyle Anderson each received technical fouls for disputing calls against them.

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