Timberwolves Cook Nuggets to Force Game 7

NBA: Playoffs-Denver Nuggets at Minnesota Timberwolves
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves returned home for a Game 6 matchup with the Denver Nuggets that had their season on the line. Wearing the classic throwback uniforms, Anthony Edwards and his teammates cooked Nikola Jokic to the tune of a gaudy deficit all night long.

Despite getting down 9-2 early in the contest, Anthony Edwards, Karl Anthony Towns, and Rudy Gobert were unphased. Chris Finch’s squad went on a massive run and found themselves ending the first quarter up by 17 points.

Minnesota Timberwolves defense suffocates Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic

After being utterly dominated by Nikola Jokic in Game 5, Rudy Gobert and the Minnesota Timberwolves needed to bring back their stifling defense if they were going to give the Target Center faithful a victory. Karl Anthony Towns was back on the Nuggets big man early in the game, and his composure allowed Gobert to play more of a rover underneath.

On the perimeter Nickeil Alexander Walker and Jaden McDaniels kept the Denver guards at bay, and Mike Malone’s squad never looked like it could get in rhythm. Jokic is always going to get his, and with 22 points just into the 4th quarter, he certainly made an impact on the stat sheet. However, he needed 19 shots to get there, and was held to an 0-for-4 mark from deep.

As was the case when he threw a heating pack onto the court earlier in the series, the Minnesota Timberwolves defense had Jamal Murray frustrated and searching for answers. As the 4th quarter wore down, Denver’s point guard was 4-for-18 from the field and had just ten points to his credit.

Mike Malone opted to stay with his starters hoping for a run to happen, but nothing ever materialized. Both Michael Porter Jr. and Kentavious Caldwell were held below double digits for the vast majority of the game, and with just over eight minutes left in the contest, the Nuggets bench had scored just two points on 1-for-14 shooting.

Anthony Edwards called game and delivered

Of course if Micah Nori and the Timberwolves were going to see this series produce a Game 7, it was going to come on the heels of a big Anthony Edwards performance. Checking out at the 8:33 mark in the 4th quarter, he had put up 27 points on 8-of-17 shooting, and acted as a key difference maker all night long.

Despite taking a hard fall after being checked by Porter Jr. in the 3rd quarter, he quickly returned to the floor and continued to pour in big buckets. As he took a spot on the bench during the 4th quarter for a well-deserved rest, the Minnesota Timberwolves had a 36-point lead and Edwards signaled “7” to the crowd as the game he suggested would come was now turning into prophecy.

Related: Timberwolves Draw Jamal Murray’s Favorite Referee for Game 6 vs Nuggets

Sunday’s matchup back in Denver will be for all the marbles, and if the Minnesota Timberwolves come out even close to the way they looked on Thursday night, they will be tough to beat. The Nuggets will want to get this taste out of their mouth, and the defending champions won’t go down easily.

We’re going to have a good one in front of us.

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