The Denver Nuggets started off the first quarter of their Game 3 matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves by giving up a quick burst of points with Minnesota jumping out to a quick 10-4 lead in the first 3:30 of the game. Denver picked up the pace a bit, but the Timberwolves were keeping them at bay with consistent scoring throughout the middle part of the quarter. As the first was winding down, the Nuggets were able to reclaim the lead before a pair of Anthony Edwards free throws tied the game up at 28 with four seconds remaining in the first period.

In the second quarter, Karl Anthony-Towns was showing some life for the first time in the series with nine points in the quarter to give him 13 points in the first half. That was more than he had scored in either of Game 1 or Game 2 in the series. For the Nuggets, they had the 3-point ball rolling in the quarter with six falling to finish up the first half after hitting just one in the first quarter. For the half, Denver was shooting 56.8 percent from the floor and 43.8 percent from 3-point range. They were also winning the rebounding battle by nine. It was a balanced scoring load with four of the five starters in double digits and within three points of each other. Denver was leading 61-55 at the half after a strong second quarter.

In the third quarter, we saw a lot of scoring by each team, but neither was able to make the lead shift. Minnesota got to within five with a little over two minutes remaining in the quarter, but the Nuggets got a couple of quick buckets to stretch their lead back out. Edwards and Towns were continuing their strong game, but they weren’t getting enough support to offset the work of Denver’s stars. Nikola Jokic was on his way to a triple-double, and all five starters were carrying the scoring weight for the Nuggets. They were leading 94-88 at the end of the third and were looking to close out this one on the road.

Edwards knocked down a triple early in the fourth quarter to bring the Timberwolves within three. However, Denver proceeded to score nine of the next 11 points to make their lead 10 with around seven minutes remaining in the game. Down the stretch, the two sides were trading baskets back and forth. Jokic had officially tallied his triple-double, and the Nuggets were working on bleeding out the clock when Jokic hit what appeared to be the dagger basket from six feet with 2:07 remaining in the game. With 1:29 remaining, Michael Porter Jr. blocked Kyle Anderson on the defensive end before drilling his fourth 3-pointer of the game on the opposite end to stretch their lead to 12. Denver would hang on to win 120-111 behind a fantastic night from their starting five with all five players finishing with 14 or more points along with the team shooting 57.1 percent from the floor.

Stat Leaders

Points: Michael Porter Jr. – 25

Assists: Nikola Jokic – 12

Rebounds: Jokic – 11

Player of the Game: Nikola Jokic – 20 points, 12 assists, 11 rebounds, 9-of-13 field goal, 2-of-3 3-point, 0-of-0 free throw