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Mar 19, 2024 11:44 pm

Nikola Jokic, Nuggets eke out win over Wolves

Nuggets Timberwolves

Nikola Jokic scored 35 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as the Denver Nuggets held on for a 115-112 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night in Minneapolis.

Michael Porter Jr. added 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting for the Nuggets (48-21), who bounced back from a buzzer-beater loss against the Dallas Mavericks two days earlier. Denver’s Jamal Murray (18 points, 11 assists) and Aaron Gordon (14 points, 11 rebounds) each registered double-doubles.

Anthony Edwards finished with 30 points, eight rebounds and eight assists to lead Minnesota (47-22). Jaden McDaniels scored 26 points on 9-of-13 shooting, and Mike Conley chipped in 13 points to go along with six boards and five assists.

The result leaves Denver in a virtual tie with the Oklahoma City Thunder (47-20) for first place in the Western Conference, with Minnesota one game back.

Minnesota pulled within two points with 12 seconds remaining when Conley hit a 3-pointer.

Porter made two free throws to push Denver’s lead to 113-109 with 7.6 seconds left.

McDaniels sank a 3-pointer to make it 113-112 with 5.6 seconds to go, and Murray followed by making two free throws. Edwards couldn’t connect on a last-second 3-point attempt to force overtime.

The Nuggets held onto an 87-84 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Minnesota outscored Denver 29-17 in the third quarter to set up a back-and-forth finish. The Timberwolves trailed by 15 points at halftime but opened the second half on a 17-5 run to slice the deficit to 75-72.

Edwards made a jump shot to give Minnesota an 84-82 lead with 2:16 remaining in the third quarter. Jokic made a jump shot and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit a 3-pointer in the final minute to put Denver back on top by three points.

Denver held a 70-55 lead at the half.

The Nuggets built a double-digit lead in the first quarter against the Timberwolves, who started slowly on the second night of a back-to-back set. Caldwell-Pope made a 3-pointer to give Denver a 24-14 lead with 4:46 to go in the first.

Minnesota climbed within 35-28 at the end of the opening period.

The Nuggets outscored the Timberwolves 35-27 in the second quarter to increase their lead to 15 points going into the break.

–Field Level Media

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