The Denver Nuggets notched their fourth straight win on Sunday afternoon by gritting out a 100-98 overtime victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. It wasn’t pretty at all as the Nuggets sufficiently blew a 16 point fourth quarter lead by going scoreless in over eight minutes of game time, but for the second game in a row Nikola Jokic hit a game winning shot to notch the W. Whew.
Jamal Murray got off to a hot start scoring 15 points in his first eight minute stretch of the game. At first it looked like this was going to be a statement game from Jamal as he took the team on his back in the first quarter, but he didn’t score again the entire game. A possible foot injury which removed Murray from the game a few minutes into the second half might have something to do with it.
The third quarter belonged to Paul Millsap. Millsap was quite awful offensively in the first half and held scoreless until he bullied his way to 14 points in the third alone. His efforts helped overcome Jokic foul trouble and Murray’s ailing injury and really give Denver the momentum to pull away.
Denver had seemingly put the game away with a 90-74 lead halfway through the fourth thanks to strong play from Jerami Grant and Gary Harris, but through the course of the next five minutes or so the Wolves slowly and painfully chipped away at the lead through a combination of questionable foul calls and several Nugget turnovers. The Nuggets also couldn’t score as they went the final 6+ minutes of the game without a single point. Gary Harris fouled out, Karl-Anthony Towns ultimately tied the game with a three and neither team was able score on their final possessions of the game.
Will Barton showed up in overtime to the tune of two three-pointers, but once again it was Nikola Jokic who saved the day by hitting a ridiculous step back two over Towns to win the game.
For Minnesota, both Towns and Andrew Wiggins put up 25 each. Jokic led Denver with 20 and all five Nugget starters scored in double figures.
This game was by no means pretty. The bench was awful in the first half but came alive in the second, Jamal Murray was a non-factor outside of the first seven minutes of the game and the entire fourth quarter was a one-sided slugfest. But the Nuggets got the job done and it really was an all-around effort. Every player had his moment to shine in one way or the other. And most importantly, they came away with the win even after giving up a big lead.