NBA playoffs

No sweep: Nuggets regain champion form, thrash Wolves on home turf to snap skid


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No sweep: Nuggets regain champion form, thrash Wolves on home turf to snap skid

OUTTA MY WAY. Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) drives to the basket past Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) in the first half during game three of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Three-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic erupts with a 24-14-9-3-3 line, while Jamal Murray also scores 24 as the Denver Nuggets bounce back with a 27-point mauling of the Minnesota Timberwolves on their home floor

Nikola Jokic recorded 24 points, 14 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals, and 3 blocks as the Denver Nuggets dominated in a 117-90 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinals series on Friday (Saturday, May 11, Manila time) in Minneapolis.

Jamal Murray finished with 24 points on 11-for-21 shooting for Denver, which cut its deficit to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. Michael Porter Jr. scored 21 points, Aaron Gordon chipped in 13 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 12.

Anthony Edwards finished with 19 points on 8-for-15 shooting to lead Minnesota, which sustained its first postseason loss after winning its first six playoff games in a row. Karl-Anthony Towns added 14 points, and Mike Conley and Jaden McDaniels put up 10 apiece.

The teams will remain in Minneapolis, where the defending champion Nuggets have a chance to pull even in the series in Game 4 on Sunday evening.

After struggling against the Timberwolves’ defense in the first two games, Denver broke through in front of a hostile crowd. The Nuggets shot 53.8 percent (43 of 80) overall and 48.3 percent (14 of 29) from 3-point range.

Meanwhile, Minnesota shot 43.7 percent (31 of 71) from the field and 30.3 percent (10 of 33) from beyond the arc.

The Nuggets led by as many as 34 points in the second half.

The Timberwolves were outscored in each of the first three quarters and trailed by double digits for the majority of the game. The Nuggets outscored Minnesota 37-25 in the third to carry a 93-66 lead into the final 12 minutes.

An 11-0 run ballooned the Nuggets’ lead to 109-75 with 5:54 to go. Jokic had two baskets and Porter buried a 3-pointer during the run.

Denver rolled to a 56-41 lead entering halftime.

The score was even at 16-16 before Denver finished the first quarter on a 12-4 run. Murray made a driving layup and a jump shot during the surge, and Jokic finished it with a layup with 1.1 seconds remaining to give the Nuggets a 28-20 advantage.

In the second, the Nuggets maintained the pressure on Minnesota by posting a 28-21 edge to increase their lead to 15 points. Murray finished the half with 18 points, which was more than double the eight points he scored in Game 2. –

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