Nuggets pull away late to take 2-0 series lead over Timberwolves

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The Denver Nuggets are proving why they are the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

The Nuggets lead their first-round series over the Minnesota Timberwolves 2-0 after their 122-113 win on Wednesday night.

The Nuggets were up by as many as 21 points, but the Timberwolves outscored Denver 40-23 in the third quarter thanks to shooting 81% from the floor in the frame. Suddenly, Minnesota had a two-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

But Denver came out firing to begin the final 12 minutes. A four-point play on their first shot attempt kickstarted an 8-0 run, all eight of which were scored by Michael Porter Jr. Both teams exchanged buckets for the next several minutes, and Minnesota was even able to regain a one-point lead, but that’s as far as they would go.

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Jamal Murray hyped

Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets reacts during the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves during Round One Game Two of the 2023 NBA Playoffs on April 19, 2023, at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado.  (Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)

Upon Minnesota going up 99-98, the Nuggets answered with a 15-4 run to go up double digits once again. Every time Minnesota tried to spark a comeback, the Nuggets halted it quickly.

Oh, and Minnesota bettors, look away – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope knocked down two free throws to put Denver up nine with 11.0 seconds to go, and the Timberwolves turned the inbound pass over – the Nuggets covered the 8.5.

Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic

Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets high-fives Nikola Jokic #15 during the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves during Round One Game Two of the 2023 NBA Playoffs on April 19, 2023, at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado.  (Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)

GRIZZLIES’ JA MORANT OUT GAME 2 VS LAKERS WITH HAND INJURY

Denver shot 59% from the floor in the fourth compared to Minnesota’s 41%.

Jamal Murray led the way with a 40-piece for the Nuggets (Anthony Edwards had 41 in a losing effort), as Nikola Jokic added 27 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Porter scored 13 of his 16 points in the fourth. 

Nikola Jokic pumps fist

Nikola Jokic (15) of the Denver Nuggets pumps his fist a la Kobe Bryant after Bruce Brown (11) tossed an alley oop to Jeff Green (32) during the first quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Ball Arena in Denver on Wednesday, April 19, 2023. (AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

It was a disappointing night for Karl-Anthony Towns, who scored just 10 points on 3-for-12 shooting – in the regular season, he put up 20.8 per night on 49.5% from the floor.

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The series now moves to Minnesota for the next two games.



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