NBA playoffs: Nikola Jokić, Nuggets cruise to blowout win over Timberwolves in Game 3

Nikola Jokic And the defending champions weren’t going to roll over and call him names.

Jokic W Denver Nuggets, after a brutal start in the Western Conference semifinals, came out firing Friday night in Minneapolis. They cruised to a dominant 117-90 win over Minnesota Timberwolves In Game 3. The win, after skidding in the first two games at Ball Arena in Denver, finally got them on the board in their series. It also handed the Timberwolves their first loss of the postseason, something that completely stunned the elimination crowd at Target Center.

After a close first quarter, the Nuggets ended the period with a quick 12-4 run to take an eight-point lead at halftime. This was, at that point, their biggest advance of the series.

From there, Denver took off. The Nuggets opened the second half on a 17-5 run, and led by 20 points after that. Christian Brown He drilled a 3-pointer just minutes into the quarter. In this way, the Timberwolves were on the verge of getting the hang of it.

The Nuggets raised Minnesota’s tally to only 21 points in the second quarter, giving them a 15-point lead at the end of the first half. Carl Anthony Cities He was the only Timberwolves player to score in double figures in the first half after hitting four 3-pointers. Jamal Murray He had 18 of his 24 points in the first half for Denver after a tough game in Game 2 – which It resulted in a $100,000 fine from the league After he threw things on the court out of frustration. The Nuggets simply dominated throughout the first 24 minutes.

The Nuggets then extended their lead to over 20 points quickly in the third quarter after that Aaron Gordon Hit a pair of 3-pointers and Michael Porter Jr He followed it up with one of his own within about a minute — which put the Timberwolves away for good. The Nuggets increased the gap to 27 points at the end of the third quarter, and then had no difficulty in finishing the victory by 27 points.

Anthony Edwards He led the Timberwolves with 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field. Towns finished with 14 points Mike Conley He added 10 points, six assists and six rebounds. Minnesota made just 9 of 27 from the 3-point line as a team. Frustration boiled over at the end as well, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker was ejected from the game in the final minutes after an argument with the officials.

Jokic completed a run short of a triple-double to lead the Nuggets. He scored 24 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, and provided nine assists. Murray provided four assists and four rebounds to raise his score to 24 points, and Porter finished with 21 points. The Nuggets shot nearly 54% from the field as a team, and about 49% from beyond the arc.

Friday’s game went completely away from the Timberwolves. Although they still hold the lead in the series, Game 4 on Sunday is now crucial to a team that hasn’t reached the Western Conference Finals in two decades. If they were to return to Denver next week with a 2-2 tie, it would really be a winning series for anyone.

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