The Minnesota Timberwolves started Game 4 against the Denver Nuggets with some points in a hurry, and they had the Nuggets on their heels throughout the first quarter after that. Nikola Jokic and Karl Anthony-Towns both picked up two fouls early in the game, and that was clearly going to alter the way these two teams were going to run their offense. Denver didn’t take their first lead of the game until late in the period with just over 10 seconds remaining, but a late bucket by Minnesota gave them a 23-22 lead heading into the second quarter.


In the second quarter, Denver’s second unit was putting up one of the best performances that we had seen out of them all season. At one point, they went on a 9-0 run, and they were only outscored by two points during their minutes without Jokic on the floor despite Minnesota featuring a couple of starters during those minutes. Jokic picked up his third foul of the game late in the second quarter, but the Nuggets were carrying a 52-48 lead heading into the half. 


The Nuggets started the half with a hot run, and it looked as though they were going to steadily put the game away. Around midway through the quarter, a switch flipped for Minnesota, and they were going on a run. Over a seven-minute span, they had gone on a 25-9 run, and they were now leading by seven. A hot quarter from Jokic was the main reason the Nuggets were able to keep the game close, but they were going to need a strong finish in this one as they were trailing 80-74 entering the final period.


In the fourth quarter, the Nuggets started quick and looked as though they were going to clutch up to complete the sweep, but they were struggling to get stops on the defensive end. With just over two minutes remaining in the game, Michael Porter Jr. hit his first 3-pointer of the game to make it a six-point game. On the next possession, he forced a miss before making another triple that had brought the Nuggets to within three after trailing by 12 with under three minutes remaining in the game. Jokic hit a fadeaway jumper to make it a one-point game. After a miss by Minnesota, Denver had the ball with a chance to reclaim the lead with under 20 seconds to go. Jokic was fouled by Towns, and he went 1-of-2 at the free-throw line to tie it up with 12.7 remaining in the game. Anthony Edwards, who had put the Minnesota team on his back all night long had the ball stolen from him on the team’s final possession, and we were heading to overtime tied at 96.


Through the first two minutes of overtime, neither team wanted to get a stop as everybody was making every shot they put up. With 2:56 remaining in overtime, Towns was called for his sixth foul which put him out for the remainder of the game. Nickeil Alexander-Walker nailed a pair of triples, and the Timberwolves were leading by five with 2:30 remaining in the game. With 1:29 remaining, Edwards got a layup to fall that gave Minnesota a seven-poitn lead. Coming out of a timeout, Jamal Murray knocked down two baskets, including one off of a full-court pass from Jokic, to make a three-point game. The shot of the game came with under 15 seconds remaining when Edwards drilled his fifth 3-pointer of the game over Aaron Gordon to make it a four-point game again. Jokic had a chance to knock a 3-pointer down, but he hit it off the front of the rim. The Timberwolves would stave off elimination in this one, and Denver was heading home for Game 5 following a big game from Edwards and an underwhelming game from the non-Jokic stars.

Stat Leaders

Points: Nikola Jokic – 43

Assists: Nikola Jokic – 6

Rebounds: Jokic – 11

Player of the Game: Nikola Jokic – 43 points, 6 assists, 11 rebounds, 15-of-26 field goal, 5-of-8 3-point, 8-of-12 free throw