Early in the game between the Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves, the Nuggets seemed disjointed on offense, and Minnesota had the early lead as they were up 6-4 two minutes into the first quarter. Over the next three minutes, the Nuggets were sloppy on both ends of the floor, and the final straw for Michael Malone was a possession with multiple offensive rebounds for Minnesota and an 18-11 deficit for the Nuggets. The Nuggets already had four turnovers in the first 6:30 of the game. Less than eight minutes into the game, they had made five baskets to go with six turnovers. With 2:34 remaining in the first, Nikola Jokic went to the bench with the Nuggets trailing 17-21 and struggling on both ends of the floor. The Nuggets tied the game at 21 with an acrobatic layup from Bones Hyland. Despite offensive struggles by the Nuggets, they managed to keep the game tied at 23 heading into the second quarter.

The Nuggets started the second quarter by giving up two straight 3-point buckets while getting just a two-point bucket from Zeke Nnaji, and they were trailing early on in the quarter. The Nuggets came back with a run of their own, and the two sides were trading baskets over the next few minutes with Denver leading 36-35 when multiple starters re-entered the game at the 7:30 mark. Minnesota went on a 11-2 run over a two-minute span, and they were leading by eight with under six minutes remaining in the half. Minnesota was getting physical with Denver, and Denver was struggling to fight back and stay in the game. That run was now 15-2 over 3:30, and the lead was 12 before Michael Porter Jr. stopped the run with a triple. Denver was making their way back into the game, but fouls and struggles with the physicality of the Timberwolves was keeping them out of a rhythm. Denver got to within three before Jokic was called for his third foul of the half and was heading to the bench. Minnesota got a shot to go at the bucket from Anthony Edwards, and they were leading 59-53 heading into the half.

To start the second half, the two sides traded baskets, but Minnesota was making triples while Denver was making layups. Denver finally regained the lead following a 3-pointer from MPJ to lead 70-69, but the lead was brief as Kyle Anderson answered with one of his own. With 6:56 remaining in the third quarter, the two teams were tied at 74 as the offenses had come alive right as the defenses had gone to sleep. A physical two minutes resulted in just one bucket per team before Jamal Murray scored a technical free throw to give Denver the small lead. After finishing the first half with 15 points without a lot of assists, Jokic flipped the switch to get everyone else involved, and he was distributing the ball a ton in the third quarter. One player that was really enjoying the half was Edwards, who was up to 20 points in the game and rolling midway through the quarter. As the quarter wound down, Murray was the only consistent offense for Denver while Minnesota had things going and went into the fourth quarter leading 90-85.

To start the fourth, Denver could get a bucket or two, but they couldn’t get any stops. Denver promptly went on an 8-2 run to get within two, which was answered by a run from Minnesota to go up by six. That run continued, and the Timberwolves were now up by 10 with 7:28 to go in the game. After leading 83-80, the Timberwolves had been going on a 25-14 run and had all the momentum in their favor. After trailing by 10, Denver quickly went on an 8-0 run over the next two minutes, and they were within two with 5:30 remaining. That momentum quickly shifted with the Timberwolves going on a 7-2 run over 90 seconds with the Nuggets’ starters looking gassed on night two of a back-to-back. Denver’s jumpers were coming up short, and it looked as though Minnesota just wanted it a little bit more on both ends of the floor. Denver was trailing 115-107 with 2:00 remaining, and the Timberwolves threw a big haymaker with Austin Rivers making a triple following the team’s 11th offensive rebound of the night. Minnesota wanted it more at the end of the night. They snapped their six-game losing streak, and the Nuggets had now lost their fourth straight game to Minnesota with a final score of 124-111.

Stat Leaders

Points: Nikola Jokic – 24

Assists: Nikola Jokic – 9

Rebounds: Aaron Gordon – 16

Player of the Game: Nikola Jokic – 24 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds, 10-of-20 field goal, 1-of-3 3-point, 3-of-4 free throw