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Wolves Defeat the Nuggets 45 Points to Force a Seventh Game

When Anthony Edwards left the court for a fourth-quarter timeout during the Minnesota Timberwolves’ rout, he gave the boisterous fans a seven-finger salute.

All night long, he exuded the fierce determination of a top player who would not give up to the reigning champions.

With a flawless 115-70 victory against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday, Edwards scored 27 points to help the Timberwolves break out of their mid-series slump and force a decisive Game 7 in this exciting battle.

In addition to pitching in 21 points and playing lockdown defense, Mike Conley scored 13 points after making his injury comeback. NBA MVP Nikola Jokic scored a meager 22 points thanks to a strong 38 rebounding effort by big men Rudy Gobert, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Naz Reid.

Edwards stated, “Guys just believing in themselves.” “I think the last three games we were all down on ourselves.”

On Sunday night in Denver, there is a pivotal game that will determine a position in the Western Conference playoffs.

With a painful elbow, Jamal Murray labored once more for the Nuggets, whose bench was outscored 36-9; seven of his points came in the last five minutes. The Nuggets finished with a 36-9 deficit. A suitable response to the starters’ 20-0 outburst in the first quarter, the Wolves reserves sparked a 24-0 run in the fourth quarter on route to an incredible 50-point lead.

“We talked a lot today just about getting our edge back, our swagger, playing a little more free and easy,” Chris Finch, the coach, said. “It just felt like we hadn’t had our best effort on both sides of the ball yet.”

It has never happened before that a reigning NBA champion lost by more than 36 points in the playoffs, until the Nuggets’ disastrous 62-43 out-rebounding performance on Thursday night.

Denver coach Mike Malone stated, “That to me speaks volumes about the game and our approach.”

For the final thirty-one minutes of the game, the Nuggets were behind by at least seventeen points and Aaron Gordon led them with twelve points and eight rebounds. The Nuggets were only 7-for-36 from three-point range.

McDaniels’ offense is usually a benefit for the Wolves, but he can’t play as quietly as he did over the course of the first five games, scoring 35 points in total. This time, he was everywhere on the court. He made 3 of 5 shots from distance and mixed in some timed dunks to get the fans excited.

With nine points in the 20-0 run, Edwards—whose 44-point effort was ultimately squandered in a Game 4 defeat the last time he played at Target Center—needed just nine field goals to score 19 points in the first half.

“Just shoot it every chance I get, because last game they took the ball out of my hands,” Edwards stated.

He converted a steal into a fast break early in the third quarter, then used two crossover dribbles to get Michael Porter Jr. airborne and burst by him for a slam. After driving past Porter to draw a foul, he landed hard on his back a few minutes later. When Edwards returned to the court without missing a beat, the Wolves took a timeout to allow him additional space to collect his breath. This sparked the “MVP!” chanting.

Conley missed Game 5 in Denver due to right leg pain, and the 17-year veteran point guard undoubtedly contributed to keeping the half-court setups tidy and structured until he returned. Despite this, the Wolves were often disorganized offensively.

It was an obvious choice. Conley declared, “I was going to try to find a way.” “We’re just better when we’re a complete team.”

In a Game 3 loss to Boston in the first round, the Wolves kept the Nuggets to 14 points in the first quarter, which was tied for the second-lowest total in the league this postseason behind Miami (12 points).

Murray struggled mightily to produce any kind of impact against McDaniels, Edwards, and the rest of the NBA-best defense that had shown some noticeable weaknesses over the previous three games before coming together.

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