Sports writing, May 13 (EFE) .- The Minnesota Timberwolves were unable to control the Nuggets, and especially Nikola Jokic, who took another step to become the MVP, the most valuable player of the season, by getting a new double-double with 31 points and 14 rebounds.
The victory against the Timberwolves allows Denver to continue with options to reach third place in the Western Conference, currently held by the Los Angeles Clippers with 47 victories, one more than the Nuggets.
Timberwolves rookie Anthony Edwards also took advantage of Thursday’s game to cement his candidacy for “rookie” of the year with 29 points to his credit, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks. Edwards has become the first rookie in Wolves history to score more than 20 points in 34 games.
Meanwhile, in the particular duel between the guards of the two teams, Facundo Campazzo on the Nuggets and Ricky Rubio on the Timberwolves, ended practically in a draw. Both players scored 6 points. And while the Spanish point guard got 4 rebounds to 2 for the Argentine, Campazzo distributed 9 assists to 5 for Rubio.
Juancho Hernangómez, the Spanish power forward for the Wolves, had another discreet night with 4 points and 3 rebounds after 15.28 minutes of play.
The game started with Rubio and D’Angelo Russell in the Timberwolves’ starting five while Nuggets coach Michael Malone decided to experiment with a JaVale McGee in the starting lineup alongside Jokic and power forward Aaron Gordon. .
The result of so many centimeters on the track was quickly seen. In the first quarter, the Nuggets had nearly twice as many rebounds as the Wolves (17-for-9). Greater control under the hoops was joined by the effectiveness of Jokic, who finished the first 12 minutes with 16 points.
At the end of the first quarter, the Nuggets were already 9 points ahead on the scoreboard, 26-35. In the second quarter, Malone decided to give Jokic a break and without the Serb on the track, the Wolves were able to balance the numbers a bit.
D’Angelo Russell came into play and scored 12 points for the Wolves. Still, by halftime, the Nuggets had extended their lead to 11 points, 52-63, with 18 points in the first half for Jokic. Meanwhile, in the Timberwolves, the most effective in the first 24 minutes was Russell, with 15 points, followed by center Karl-Anthony Towns (KAT), with 11.
After the break, the Edwards festival began. The rookie, who has become a staple for the Wolves, tends to act in streaks, which usually start in the third quarter. And against the Nuggets, Edwards did not disappoint.
The 19-year-old forward scored 18 points in the third quarter, with 3 3s of 4 attempted, and pushed his team until they dream of turning the scoreboard. Edwards starred in a pair of spectacular dunks that have become the hallmark of the house and make him one of the most eye-catching players right now.
Edwards ‘performance in the third quarter overshadowed that of Jokic, who had 10 points in those 12 minutes, and allowed the Timberwolves to score 37 points to the Nuggets’ 29 in the period. Eleven of the Denver points in the third quarter were scored by Slovenian Vlatko Cancar.
Cancar would finish the game with 14 points, the record in his NBA career.
The fourth quarter started with the Wolves just three points behind, 89-92. But the Wolves ran out of fuel. Only three Minnesota players scored in the final 12 minutes. Edwards had 4 points; KAT stayed at 3; and only the second center of the team, Naz Reid, shone with 7 points.
At the Nuggets, Campazzo took advantage of the situation to score 4 points in the fourth quarter, while backup Markus Howard had another 7.
In the end, Jokic was too much for the Timberwolves, who lost at home 103-114.
(c) EFE Agency