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Published Time: 17.05.2024 - 11:13:23 Modified Time: 17.05.2024 - 11:13:23

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Anthony Edwards scored 27 points to pull the Minnesota Timberwolves out of their mid-series slump and deliver a flawless 115-70 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night to force a Game 7 in this roller-coaster playoff matchup. Denver Nuggets, Anthony Edwards, Timberwolves


Dave Campbell | The

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Anthony Edwards scored 27 points to pull the Minnesota Timberwolves out of their mid-series slump and deliver a flawless 115-70 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night to force a Game 7 in this roller-coaster playoff matchup.

Jaden McDaniels pitched in 21 points and lockdown defense, and Mike Conley had 13 points in his return from injury. Big men Rudy Gobert, Karl-Anthony Towns and Naz Reid combined for 38 rebounds and a relentless effort to keep NBA MVP Nikola Jokic to a relatively quiet 22 points.

The decisive game for a spot in the Western Conference finals is in Denver on Sunday night.

Jamal Murray struggled again with just 10 points on 4-for-18 shooting for the Nuggets, whose bench was outscored 36-9 — and seven of those points came in the final five minutes. The Wolves reserves led a 24-0 run in the fourth quarter to take a staggering 49-point lead, a fitting follow-up to the 20-0 surge the starters led in the opening frame.

Aaron Gordon had 12 points and eight rebounds for the Nuggets, who finished just 7 for 36 from 3-point range and trailed by at least 17 points for the last 31 minutes of the game.

For the Wolves, offense from McDaniels is typically a bonus, but he can’t be as quiet as he was over the first five games with a total of 35 points. He was all over the court this time, going 3 of 5 from deep and mixing in some well-timed dunks to ignite the crowd.

Edwards, whose 44-point performance was ultimately wasted in a Game 4 loss the last time he played at Target Center, had that tenacious look of a superstar player refusing to cede the series. He had nine points in the 20-0 spurt and needed only nine shots from the floor to get 19 points in the first half.

In the third quarter, he turned a steal into a fast break before using two crossover dribbles to get Michael Porter Jr. in the air and blow by him for a dunk. A few minutes later, he drove past Porter to draw a foul and landed hard on his back. The Wolves called timeout to give Edwards more time to catch his breath, and when he walked back on the court without missing time the “MVP!” chants fired up.

As a fourth-quarter timeout signaled the start of empty-the-bench time, Edwards held up seven fingers to the adoring crowd in anticipation of what was coming next.

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