Timberwolves force Game 7 by blowing out Nuggets 115-70 behind ...

26 days ago

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, offence 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 signalled the start of empty-the-bench time, Edwards helped up seven fingers to the adoring crowd in anticipation of what was coming next.

The Wolves were frequently in disarray on offence during Game 5 in Denver while Conley sat out with soreness in his right calf muscle, and the 17-year veteran point guard clearly helped keep the half-court sets crisp and organized in his return.

The Wolves held the Nuggets to 14 points in the first quarter, tied for the second-lowest total in the league this post-season behind Miami (12 points) in a Game 3 loss to Boston in the first round.

Murray had a devil of a time doing anything productive against McDaniels and the rest of the NBA-leading defence that snapped to life after revealing some sizable cracks over the previous three games. 

Murray, who had a 3-for-18 clunker in Game 2, tried everything from leaners, fadeaways and spot-up 3-pointers. He even air-balled a finger roll from the baseline, then got backed down in a bad matchup by Naz Reid in the post on the subsequent possession for a flip-in that put the Wolves up 43-24. 

McDaniels tipped in a missed 3-pointer by Reid at the halftime buzzer to make it 59-40, a sharp contrast from the 55-foot swish Murray had at the end of the second quarter in Game 3 to cap an 8-0 run over 20 pivotal seconds of that contest.

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

Dave Campbell, The Associated Press

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