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Denver makes statement with 27-point win in Minnesota behind 24 points from Murray

May 11th, 2024

2024 NBA Playoffs – Denver Nuggets v Minnesota Timberwolves

What was most shocking about Tuesday night — when Minnesota took a 2-0 series lead against the defending champions in their second-round series — wasn’t that Denver lost, it was that they lost their composure while doing so.

Friday night we saw the defending champion Nuggets we expected this series. The ones with pride. The ones seemingly unbothered by pressure. Defensively Denver was locked in, on offense the ball was popping and moving, and Jamal Murray scored 24 points and showed no signs of the injury that slowed him in the first two games of the series.

The result was a 117-90 Denver blowout win in Minnesota that was never really in doubt after the middle of the second quarter, taking a little shine off the Timberwolves “team of destiny” aura. Minnesota still leads the series 2-1 with Game 4 Sunday in Minnesota.

“I liked the fact they punched tonight, we didn’t punch back,” Anthony Edwards said in the Minnesota locker room. “That’s the thing, that’s fun, you love to compete. It’s going to be very competitive Sunday, we’re gonna be here for it.”

It wasn’t very competitive Friday night.

Denver did a good job coming out with the desperation needed in a must-win game. Minnesota fans booed Jamal Murray every time he touched the ball, and he responded like a champion.

“It honestly just kind of makes you better because you have to respond,” Murray said, via the Associated Press. “It just makes you have to lock in and be there for your teammates.”

Everything with Denver starts with newly minted three-time MVP Nikola Jokic, who had 24 points, 14 rebounds, and nine assists. Denver also got a big game from Michael Porter Jr., who scored 21 points.

However, what mattered most was the ball and player movements that the championship Nuggets are known for. Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert returned from the birth of his child but was essentially a non-factor because of how well Denver moved the ball and kept him off balance.

Edwards finished with 19 points to lead the Wolves, while Karl-Anthony Towns added 14.

The Timberwolves played like champions through their first six playoff games this season — but real champions know how to respond to adversity. Denver did that.

Can Minnesota answer on Sunday?

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
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