Minnesota annihilates Denver, now lead 2-0

Minnesota stuns Denver again to go up 2-0 (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Minnesota Timberwolves continued its stellar run in the ongoing NBA Playoffs after blasting the reigning NBA champion Denver Nuggets, 106-80, to grab a comfortable 2-0 lead in their ongoing Western Conference semifinals series duel on May 7, 2024.

With another victory, the Timberwolves are yet to lose a single game in the post-season and extended its undefeated NBA playoffs campaign to six wins without a loss since sweeping the Phoenix Suns in the first round.

Unlike their first encounter where Minnesota pulled away late in the fourth quarter, Game 2 turned out to be a one-sided affair as the Timberwolves scored a wire-to-wire win after controlling the game from the get-go until the final buzzer sounded.

After ending the first 12 minutes of the game with an eight-point advantage, 28-20, Minnesota stepped on the gas pedal in the second quarter and outscored Denver, 33-15, to grab a momentum-changing 61-35 lead heading into the second half.

Despite the Nuggets kicking off the third quarter with a different type of aggression trying to free Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray in the screen-and-roll actions, Minnesota maintained its intensity and crisp ball movement to put them up by 22 points at the end of the third.

Minnesota went on a cold offensive stretch in the fourth quarter which Denver capitalized after their reserves pulled them to within 18 points but after a quick timeout, the Timberwolves once again responded and countered back with an offensive avalanche led by Anthony Edwards, Karl Anthony-Towns, and Naz Reid.

When the Nuggets failed to trim their deficit to under 10 points with three minutes still remaining in the game, head coach Michael Malone then decided to wave the white flag and sent in all of his reserves.

The duo of Towns and Edwards led the charge for the Timberwolves as the 1-2 punch each scored 27 points to help Minnesota take care of their business on the road in the first two games.

Reid, the reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year, maintained his consistent offensive production for Minnesota and tallied 14 points, five rebounds, and four blocks.

On the other hand, the Nuggets’ super duo of Jokic and Murray was held to just 8/31 shooting from the field and were getting swarmed all day by the intense defensive schemes of the Timberwolves.

Aaron Gordon was the only bright spot for the Nuggets after chipping in 20 points built from an efficient 8/14 shooting from the field but his heroics weren’t enough to help Denver level the series at 1-1.


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