Nuggets 117-90 Timberwolves (May 10, 2024) Game Recap

MINNEAPOLIS — The Denver Nuggets are too determined, too experienced, too proud and too talented to let losses in the first two games define this series against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

This is what protects NBA That’s what champions do — quiet the raucous crowd, embrace the boos, and regain momentum.

Jamaal Murray bounced back from a rough start to reach the Western Conference semifinals with 24 points. Nuggets 117-90 Friday night in Game 3 Timber wolves The last team in the NBA to lose in the postseason.

“It actually makes you better because you have to respond,” said Murray, who screamed every time he touched the ball. “It’s about locking yourself in and being there for your teammates.”

Nikola Jokic, The Three-time league MVPWith 24 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists, Michael Porter Jr. scored 21 points and the Nuggets sliced ​​Minnesota’s streak to 2-1 on the strength of 14-for-29 shooting from 3-point range.

Anthony Edwards scored a quiet 19 points to lead the Wolves, who went just 10 for 32 from deep, even with a 4-for-5 effort from Karl-Anthony Towns. They failed to get enough shots off Towns (14 points) and played slower than they did in the first two games in Denver, while falling behind by 34 points.

“I take responsibility for this loss. I came out with no energy. I can’t do that for my team. I let my team down, I let the coaches down, I let the fans down,” Edwards said. “I’ll be ready on 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 people have gathered to win.

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“You’re always testing human nature and what people are made of,” Nuggets coach Mike Malone said.

It was the step Denver badly needed, breaking the 100-point barrier for the first time in three games against Minnesota’s NBA-best defense.

“Everything was sharp. Everything was fast,” Jokic said.

Murray scored just 25 points on 9-for-32 shooting with a minus-38 rating in the first two games. $100,000 fine From the NBA for chucking a Heat bag on the floor off the bench.

The stone-faced point guard, who thrived on a combination of spot-up jumpers and fadeaways, had more spring under his belt to rest the left calf muscle that had been bothering him the past few weeks after three days. . Jokic and Aaron Gordon helped jumpstart the offense, easing the ball-handling burden on Murray.

“His teammates released him, but he was aggressive and saw the ball early,” Malone said. “I think he enjoys those moments where he can be the bad boy.”

Not only did the defending champs bring the energy they promised to return after any show at home, but they hit enough shots to help keep the Wolves and their active rotation honest. The whistles were tight and Wolves defensive ace Jaden McDaniels was limited by foul trouble.

After beating Phoenix and dominating Denver in the first two games, the Wolves got their first reality check after turning heads. Game 2 Dominate in Denver. “Wolves in 4!” The chant erupted before the opening tip was quickly removed.

The Nuggets controlled the noise by crawling out to a 28-20 edge after the first quarter, their largest lead of the series to date, and they didn’t stop there. 20 points late in the second quarter.

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Got wolves NBA Defensive Player of the Year After Rudy Gobert missed Game 2 for the birth of his son, but the Nuggets zipped the ball so well outside the paint that his long arms were often not a factor.

Gordon hit back-to-back 3-pointers, and Porter hit one on the next possession midway through the third quarter to make it 72-50 and cap another mini-Wolves rally.

At the start of the fourth, fans began to leave their seats. Wolves reserves Nikhil Alexander-Walker and Kyle Anderson, frustrated by a barrage of calls against them on the night, were slapped with technical fouls with 5:54 left on the clock for arguing with the officials.

“We earned the right to be talked about, but at the end of the day, we knew they were going to make it a series,” Alexander-Walker said.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

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