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May 4, 2024 9:43 pm

Timberwolves wrestle home-court advantage from Nuggets in Game 1 win

Nuggets, Timberwolves

Anthony Edwards scored 43 points, Karl-Anthony Towns finished with 20 points, and the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves took home-court advantage from Denver with a 106-99 win over the Nuggets in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinal series on Saturday night.

Naz Reid scored 14 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, Mike Conley had 14 points and 10 assists and Rudy Gobert grabbed 13 rebounds for Minnesota, which pulled away to begin the postseason 5-0.

Game 2 is Monday night in Denver.

Nikola Jokic had 32 points, Michael Porter Jr. added 20 points and Jamal Murray finished with 17 points, all in the second half, for the Nuggets, who are trailing in a series for the first time since losing to the Golden State Warriors in the first round in 2022.

It was a tight game early in the fourth, but the Timberwolves were more poised down the stretch.

Conley hit his third 3-pointer of the game to give Minnesota an 80-77 lead, but Murray answered from deep and was fouled by Towns and completed the four-point play.

Edwards, who had 25 points in the first half, hit a driving layup through traffic and a step-back 17-footer to put the Timberwolves back in front. Reid hit a pair of 3-pointers and dunked an Edwards miss to slam to give Minnesota a 94-88 lead with 4:20 left.

Jokic converted a three-point play, but the Timberwolves started to put it away. Rudy Gobert dunked, Edwards made two free throws and Gobert banked in a 13-footer. Porter committed an offensive foul and Edwards’ 14-foot fadeaway made it 102-91 with 1:36 left.

Jokic’s 3-pointer cut it to 102-96 with 1:01 left, but the Timberwolves closed it out.

Minnesota jumped out to an 18-4 lead with 5:12 left in the first quarter, but the Nuggets turned up the defense. They forced seven turnovers and held the Timberwolves to 22 points in the final 17 minutes of the first half to lead 44-40 at intermission.

Towns and Conley had 11 points each in the third to help put Minnesota ahead 73-71 heading into the fourth.

–Field Level Media

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