Game 82 for both teams will have a Game 7 feel, which is a fitting way to transition from the regular season to the post-season. He led the team in points, rebounds and assists per game and can score on the blocks, stretch his shot to three-point range and serve as a risky facilitator from the high elbow when opposing defenses send additional attention his way. The two of them absolutely carried the Wolves offensively. “We have one heck of a challenge coming up against a team we just beat here”.
All of it is something of a flawless storm that has left the Wolves, even with their 46-35 record, needing to win one more game to validate this season. That ended up being the last basket the Nuggets made.
Barton paced Denver with 16 points and Jokic added 13 over the first two quarters. Nikola Jokic played a massive role in the victory for Denver, accumulating 15 points, 20 rebounds and 11 assists on his way to his ninth triple-double this year. The same could be said for their opponents Wednesday night, the Denver Nuggets.
Denver, which had won six consecutive games to force this winner-take-all contest, was eliminated from playoff contention. The fans even chanted “MVP!” Even Marc Gasol, who bested Towns for 20 points and 10 rebounds in the last matchup, sat out to rest.
Two-way player Gary Payton II added a career-best 25 points off the bench as the Lakers beat their Staples Center co-tenant for the first time since April 4, 2012, as the visiting team. You had better believe this one is gonna have fireworks. He nailed the shot and cut the lead to three. The Nuggets prevailed despite shooting 37.3 percent from the field, including six of 26 from three point range.
Jimmy Butler stuck a floater on the ensuing possession to give the Wolves the lead, but Murray responded immediately.
“If it was easy it wouldn’t be fun”, center Karl-Anthony Towns said after practice Tuesday. Against the spread, their record is 3-3, with an average pre-game line of -5.1 and an average -1.6 against the spread.
Minnesota will be the No. 8 seed in the Western Conferene and play No. 1 seed Houston.
Of course this game went to overtime. Aldrich had an assist in the final minute. The Timberwolves can ill-afford to have Towns get in foul trouble again like he did Monday night against Memphis, though everything worked out and he played less than 30 minutes.
He forced Jokic into the baseline for a forced layup that missed badly.
Not to mention, Jimmy Butler has been torching them and the Nuggets seem to have no answer for either one of them.
Six months of the regular season and 81 games apiece has brought up to this. Much to their collective surprise, the three never came.
With two clutch free throws, Andrew Wiggins erased all the doubt and criticism that had surrounded him this season.
Their quest to end the franchise’s 14-year absence from the playoffs still isn’t finished. The problem is the Denver Nuggets are, too.