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Minnesota Timberwolves Triumph Over Nuggets in Thrilling Game 7 Upset



The Timberwolves were down 20 points to the Nuggets at 10:50 of the third quarter Sunday night.

The Minnesota Timberwolves made a historic comeback, erasing a 20-point deficit to defeat the Denver Nuggets in Game 7 on Sunday, earning a spot in the Western Conference finals.

This incredible journey actually began 13 months ago at a bar just a few miles away from Ball Arena, where the team found the motivation and determination to achieve their goal.

In April 2023, the Minnesota Timberwolves had just lost to the Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs. The defeat was especially painful as Anthony Edwards missed a potential game tying 3-pointer as time expired in Game 5.

After the loss, Edwards and a few teammates went to a cocktail lounge called Forget Me Not in the Cherry Creek neighborhood. They had some time to reflect since their chartered flight home wasn’t scheduled to leave until the next morning. This night out marked the beginning of their journey toward the incredible 20-point comeback against the Nuggets in Game 7, leading them to the Western Conference finals 13 months later.


Of all the bars in all the towns in the world, Denver point guard Jamal Murray who had just scored 35 points in the game that knocked the Minnesota Timberwolves out of the playoffs happened to walk into the same bar as the Timberwolves.

Anthony Edwards, a rising star at the time, had yet to have the breakout postseason that would turn him into a bona fide superstar this spring. However, he had a message to deliver to Jamal Murray.

innesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edward, left, runs down the court after making a 3-point shot against the Denver Nuggets during the first half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Minneapolis.
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edward, left, runs down the court after making a 3-point shot against the Denver Nuggets. During the first half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Minneapolis.

He was talking trash, Edwards told ESPN as he walked down the ramp toward the team bus after the Timberwolves’ 98-90 victory on Sunday.

He was telling Mike [Conley], ‘I’m sick of you, you can’t guard me,’ and all that,” Edwards added.

I told him, ‘We’ll be back. You’ll see us again when we’re fully loaded,’” Edwards recalled saying to Murray.


Edwards’ declaration came true on Sunday.

The Minnesota Timberwolves, who were down by as many as 20 points in the third quarter, mounted a remarkable comeback. They completed the largest comeback in a Game 7 in the past 25 postseasons, dethroning the defending champion Nuggets.

It shows who we are, Edwards remarked after the victory. “Once we really lock in on the defensive end, man, we’re a hell of a team to beat.”

In contrast, the Nuggets became the fifth consecutive defending NBA champion to fall short of reaching the conference finals. Additionally, they made history by becoming the first team in league history to lead by 15 or more points at halftime of a Game 7 and then go on to lose.


As Edwards had predicted, the Timberwolves’ victory over Denver was indeed a collective team effort. Six Minnesota Timberwolves players scored in double digits, demonstrating balanced scoring, while only two Nuggets players achieved the same feat. This balanced scoring was crucial, especially considering Edwards’ struggles on the court.

Despite shooting just 6-for-24, the team rallied together to secure the win against the defending champions.

Timberwolves’ four-time All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns emerged as the standout performer, delivering the most remarkable performance of his nine-year career.

Drafted as the franchise’s No. 1 pick in 2015, Towns, the longest tenured member of the team, showcased his prowess on the court. He contributed 23 points along with 12 rebounds, 2 steals, and a blocked shot.


Moreover, Towns played a crucial role defensively, putting forth an impressive one-on-one effort against Denver’s three time MVP, Nikola Jokic. His defensive efforts were commendable, proving vital in the Timberwolves’ victory over the defending champions.

I think you see how at peace and happy he is right now,” remarked Minnesota coach Chris Finch about Towns. “He had to trust that he was never going to be marginalized. All young players always think they can do it all by themselves, but in this league, nobody can.”

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards dunks against then Denver Nuggets during the first half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Minneapolis.
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards dunks against then Denver Nuggets during the first half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Minneapolis.

I couldn’t be more happy and proud for him, Finch continued. Just because I think he’s faced a lot of unfair criticism when it comes to the postseason at times.

Jokic concluded the game with 34 points and 19 rebounds, showcasing his dominance on the court. However, his shooting performance was not as efficient as usual, as he made 13 of his 28 field goal attempts and only 2 of his 10 three-point attempts.

Murray, on the other hand, contributed 35 points, shooting 13-for-27 from the field. He also provided 3 assists but committed 4 turnovers throughout the game.


Meanwhile, Towns continued his impressive postseason performance, recording his fifth 20-point game. Notably, all five of these 20-point efforts occurred on the road, demonstrating his ability to perform under pressure in hostile environments.

It was tough, man, because I couldn’t find myself, my rhythm tonight,” Edwards expressed. “So, I just had to trust my teammates. I just had to make the right plays throughout the rest of the game. I did that, and my teammates made shots. Big shoutout to those guys.

The Timberwolves took charge of the game with a commanding 32-9 run. Which starting from the 10:50 mark of the third quarter and lasting until the 11:14 mark of the fourth.

Despite Edwards struggling initially, shooting just 1-for-9 from the field, he found his rhythm after halftime. In the third quarter alone, he managed to score nine points, including a remarkable step-back 3-pointer that beat the buzzer.


Adding to the momentum, Rudy Gobert, Minnesota’s four-time Defensive Player of the Year, unexpectedly contributed offensively in the fourth quarter.

Despite a slow start, shooting 1-for-5 earlier in the game, Gobert exploded in the final frame, scoring eight of his 13 points. His highlight of the quarter was a miraculous arcing turnaround jump shot, further solidifying the Timberwolves’ control of the game.

I think when Rudy hit the turnaround, I was like, ‘Yeah, we probably got them. Edwards reflected when asked about the moment he felt the momentum shift in Minnesota’s favor. “Big shoutout to Big Ru, hit the turnaround on their a..

During the second half, Gobert played a crucial role in the Timberwolves’ defensive efforts. He helped limit the Nuggets to just 37 points on 35.9% shooting, including a mere 19% from beyond the arc. Additionally, Minnesota dominated the boards, outrebounding Denver 29-15, further solidifying their control of the game.


“It feels great,” Gobert expressed. “Beating a team like they are, an incredible team, a championship team, with the best player in the world, it feels good.”

In the fourth quarter, Minnesota surged ahead by as many as 10 points, courtesy of an Edwards corner 3-pointer with 3:05 remaining. The shot prompted the Nuggets to call a timeout as Edwards celebrated exuberantly, screaming and jumping for joy. He even hugged a courtside fan in the excitement.

Amidst the thrilling moment, a lively group of traveling Minnesota fans filled the arena with a resounding “Let’s go Wolves!” chant, emphasizing the significance of the occasion.

That was dope, remarked Minnesota center Naz Reid, who continued to excel in his Sixth Man of the Year role, contributing 11 points off the bench. “We had our own section, and they were going against the whole stadium.


The Timberwolves’ seasoned player, Mike Conley, contributed 10 points and 8 rebounds, breaking a career long streak of 0-4 in Game 7s. Adding to the team’s success, Jaden McDaniels, hailed by Edwards as the playoffs’ MVP. Which delivered an impressive performance with 23 points on 7-for-10 shooting. McDaniels also grabbed 6 rebounds, made 2 steals, and recorded a block.

This matchup marked the 20th meeting between the two teams since the start of the 2022-23 season, spanning both regular season and playoff games. It turned out to be a classic encounter, arguably the most compelling game of the series.

Notably, only two of the first six games in this second-round series had been decided by fewer than 10 points. While three games had a final margin of 25 points or more.

That was a hell of a series, remarked Denver coach Michael Malone. “They gave us all we could handle, and they ended up winning Game 7 on our home court, which is a tough one to swallow. But we’ll be back.”


With this victory, Minnesota improved its record to 2-0 in Game 7s in franchise history. Remarkably, the Timberwolves are the NBA’s only undefeated franchise in Game 7s. Which underscoring their resilience and ability to perform under pressure in decisive moments.

Towns highlighted the significance of Sunday’s victory by noting that it coincided with Timberwolves legend Kevin Garnett’s 48th birthday.

This made it even more fitting for Minneapolis to celebrate as if it were 2004. For the first time in two decades, since Garnett and his team fell to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games. As the Wolves have advanced to the conference finals.

I just want these guys to understand. I don’t think they understand what they just did, remarked the 36-year-old Conley. “Accomplishing what they have and getting to the West Conference finals is a great opportunity.


Don’t take it for granted. Celebrate the moment now, but be ready to go. You have another team waiting for you. Everybody’s in the way of your goals, so you have to be ready to go.”

Looking ahead, the Timberwolves are set to face the Dallas Mavericks for the chance to represent the West in the NBA Finals. Game 1 will take place in Minnesota on Wednesday, marking the beginning of what promises to be an intense and thrilling series.

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