Timberwolves force Game 7 by blowing out Nuggets 115-70 behind 27 points from Anthony Edwards

Baku, May 17, AZERTAC
Anthony Edwards scored 27 points to pull the Timberwolves out of their mid-series slump and deliver a flawless 115-70 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday to force a Game 7 in this roller-coaster matchup, according to AP.
Anthony Edwards flashed seven fingers to the roaring crowd as he walked off for a fourth-quarter timeout during a blowout by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
He had that tenacious look of a superstar player refusing to cede to the defending champs all night.
Jaden McDaniels pitched in 21 points and lockdown defense, and Mike Conley had 13 points in his return from injury. Big men Rudy Gobert, Karl-Anthony Towns and Naz Reid combined for 38 rebounds and a relentless effort to keep NBA MVP Nikola Jokic to a relatively quiet 22 points.
The Wolves posted the largest winning margin in a postseason game since 2015, when Chicago beat Milwaukee by 54 points in a first-round series clincher, according to Sportradar.
“Guys just believing in themselves,” Edwards said. “I think the last three games we were all down on ourselves.”
The decisive game for a spot in the Western Conference finals is in Denver on Sunday night. Just as Edwards promised the locker room staffer at Ball Arena after the Wolves lost in Game 5.
Jamal Murray struggled again with 10 points on 4-for-18 shooting while battling a sore elbow for the Nuggets, whose bench was outscored 36-9 — and seven of those points came in the final five minutes. The Wolves reserves led a 24-0 run in the fourth quarter on the way to a staggering 50-point lead, a fitting follow-up to the 20-0 surge the starters led in the opening frame.
“We talked a lot today just about getting our edge back, our swagger, playing a little more free and easy,” coach Chris Finch said. “It just felt like we hadn’t had our best effort on both sides of the ball yet.”
No defending NBA champion had ever lost in the playoffs by more than 36 points until this flop by the Nuggets, who were outrebounded 62-43.
“That to me speaks volumes about the game and our approach,” Denver coach Mike Malone said.
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, offense 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 nine points in the 20-0 spurt and needed only nine shots from the floor to get 19 points in the first half.
“Just shoot it every chance I get, because last game they took the ball out of my hands,” Edwards said.
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.


Sports 2024-05-17 21:21:00