The Minnesota Timberwolves were unable to control the Denver Nuggets, and especially the Nikola Jokic, who went one step further to become the MVP, the MVP of the season, by landing a new double-double with 31 points and 14 rebounds.
The victory against the Timberwolves 103-114 allows Denver to continue with chances of reaching third place of the Western Conference, currently occupied by the Los Angeles Clippers with 47 victories, one more than the Nuggets.
The rookie of the Timberwolves, Anthony Edwards, also took advantage of the game Thursday 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 bases of the two teams, Facundo Campazzo on the nuggets and Ricky Rubio at the Timberwolves, it ended in a near-draw. Both players they scored 6 points. And while the Spanish point guard got 4 rebounds to 2 from the Argentine, Campazzo dished out 9 assists to Rubio’s 5.
Juancho Hernangómez, the Spanish power forward for the Wolves, had another low-key night with 4 points and 3 rebounds after 15 minutes of play.
The match started with Rubio and D’Angelo Russell in the starting five of the Timberwolves 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 it 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 rims was joined by the effectiveness of Jokic, who finished the first 12 minutes with 16 points.
By 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 court, the Wolves were able to balance the numbers a bit.
D’Angelo Russell went into operation 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 the pivot Karl-Anthony Towns (KAT), with 11.
After the break, the edwards festival. The rookie, who has become a fundamental piece for the Wolves, usually acts 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 triples 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 Jokic’s, 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 executed by the Slovenian Vlatko Cancar. Cancar would end the match 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. The 14-22 partial it was more than definitive.
At the Nuggets, Campazzo took advantage of the situation to score 4 points in the fourth quarter, while substitute Markus Howard scored another 7. In the end, Jokic was too much for the Timberwolves, who lost at home to a team that is light years away. in stake as in experience.