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While the Minnesota Timberwolves put up a better fight in Game 2 against the Denver Nuggets, they ultimately fell short and now trail the series 0-2. Minnesota's offense got back on track in Game 2, but they couldn't hold off Denver's scorers. Jamal Murray and Anthony Edwards look to maintain their excellent form from impressive 40-point performances.
With the series shifting to Minneapolis, the T-Wolves aim to achieve the first win of their NBA Playoff run. If you place a wager on Game 3 between the Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves, look no further than Caesars Sportsbook. At Caesars Sportsbook, you can get up to $1250 in bonuses using our exclusive promo code!
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On Wednesday night, the Denver Nuggets earned a 2-0 series lead by defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves 122-113. The Nuggets' Jamal Murray had his first 40-point game at Ball Arena, and sharpshooter Michael Porter Jr. produced 13 of his 16 points in the last quarter. Nuggets' coach Michael Malone praised Murray's performance, calling it a "passionate, heartfelt performance" and acknowledging his effort.
Despite Minnesota shooting just 39% in the first half, they managed to erase the Nuggets' 21-point lead and led 89-87 in the fourth quarter. However, Porter's eight straight points, including a four-point play and a reverse layup, secured Denver's lead. The Timberwolves clawed back and went ahead, but a three-pointer from Porter regained Denver's lead, securing their victory.
The series will shift to Minneapolis for Game 3 on Friday night. Murray, who missed the last two postseasons due to a torn left ACL, expressed his joy at his performance and said, "That was tough, just sitting down watching" and dreaming of nights like this.
Game 2 was the first game in the series where a team shot over 50.0% from the field. The Nuggets (54.1%) and Timberwolves (50.6%) hit over half their field goals on the night. While 9 points decided the winner, the Nuggets' 6 additional field goals decided the match.
The Denver Nuggets won the battle in the paint for a second straight game. Minnesota allowed Denver to score 56 points in the paint on 57.1% from inside the arc. Despite Minnesota's shot-blocking presence, they have yet to be able to limit the Nuggets at the rim.
Minnesota improved their shooting percentages significantly in Game 2, notably from three-point range. Four of five players converted on a three-point field goal shot over 40% from three-point range. That is an impressive mark considering the Nuggets held teams to 34.4% from deep (3rd in the NBA) through the regular season.
On ESPN, the Denver Nuggets and the Minnesota Timberwolves face off for Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round at 9:30 PM. The Nuggets lead the series 2-0, but the Timberwolves will benefit from the next two games being on their home court. Minnesota won both regular season matches against the Nuggets on their home court.
Despite losing Game 2, Minnesota improved on their opening game performance. As the home team, the Minnesota Timberwolves own a 20-22-0 ATS record and a 22-19 record through 41 games. When Minnesota did win against the Nuggets during the season, they won by a 21.5-point margin.
The Denver Nuggets leave their tremendous home-court advantage, owning a 19-22-0 ATS record as the away team and a relatively mediocre 19-22 road record compared to their 34-7 home record. The Nuggets need to prove themselves in their first road game of the series, considering they had such poor results throughout the season.
Denver Nuggets ATS Record: 46-37-1
The Denver Nuggets have a chance to push the Minnesota Timberwolves to the brink of elimination in their upcoming game. Although the Nuggets have a perfect record on their home court, they'll have to face the challenge of maintaining their performance while playing away.
In their last game against the Timberwolves, the Nuggets scored an impressive 122 points, shooting 54.1% from the field and 45.5% from beyond the arc. They had an excellent assist-to-turnover ratio of 26:10 and won the rebounding battle, albeit by just one board. The game was much closer than their first matchup, and the Nuggets must stay focused and consistent throughout all four quarters.
Jamal Murray was the top performer for the Nuggets, racking up 40 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds on 59.1% shooting from the field and 60.0% from three-point range with 6 made threes. Nikola Jokic, the two-time reigning MVP, bounced back from a lackluster Game 1 and scored 40 points, 9 assists, and 9 rebounds. These two must maintain control of their offensive spaces to prevent the Timberwolves from mounting a comeback.
Minnesota Timberwolves ATS Record: 42-44-0
The Minnesota Timberwolves are back on their home court for Game 3 against the Nuggets. After improving their shooting percentages, they have managed to improve on their disappointing Game 1 performance and are carrying some momentum to secure their first win of the series.
In Game 2, the Timberwolves showed a much better offensive performance than the first game, scoring 113 points on 50.6% shooting from the field and 45.2% from beyond the arc. They were in the lead after a solid third quarter of 40-23, but unfortunately, their inexperience showed, and they lost the fourth quarter by 24-35. Even though they showed promise with their pace of play and control of the game, some of their players needed to contribute more to carry them through.
Anthony Edwards led the way for the Timberwolves with an impressive 41 points, 4 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals on 60.9% shooting from the field and 60.0% from three-point range with 6 made threes. On the other hand, Karl-Anthony Towns had another underwhelming performance with just 10 points, 12 rebounds, and 1 block on 25.0% shooting from the field, but he did manage to make 2 threes out of his 5 attempts. Edwards needs more offensive support, and Towns should be the one to provide it. If the Nuggets' defense shuts down Towns once again, the Timberwolves might not be able to secure a win in Game 3.
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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