The hype in the Pepsi Center was unreal tonight following the Nuggets 2 point win, beating the Timberwolves 105-103 in the final 27 seconds of the game. Tonight’s win leaves the Nuggets .5 out of the 8th seed in the Western Conference and 3rd in the division.
Nuggets fans, both in the Pepsi Center and at home, all sat at the edge of their seats in the final 27 seconds of the game when Danilo Gallinari made a 14-foot bank off of the glass to give us the 2 point lead. After Gallo’s shot, the Timberwolves took a full time out. Fast forward to 8.8 seconds left in the game when Wilson Chandler blocked Andrew Wiggin’s layup, giving Gary Harris the defensive rebound. Harris lost the ball and Zach LaVine stole before attempting a three point shot—a shot that could have given the game a very different outcome. Instead, LaVine missed the shot from downtown and the Nuggets (and everyone in attendance) left the Pepsi Center as happy as could be.
The Nuggets were led to victory by Gallo, who had 18 points. Gary Harris and Wilson Chandler both had 17 a piece, Jokic had 16, and Mudiay had 11, leaving all of the Nuggets starters in the double digits. During this game, Kenneth Faried came off of the bench, played a great 16 minutes, went 3-4 from the field, and had 5 rebounds. Faried, per usual, played his heart out and he gave the team the little push they needed after they were outscored in the first 31-22.
After not playing the last four games due to a coach’s decision, Jusuf Nurkic made a surprise appearance by starting the second quarter and played 9 minutes, going 2-2 from the field, getting 4 boards, and having 1 assist. One concerning aspect of this was that Coach Malone did not put Nurk back in after the half, which was surprising considering how well the Bosnian Beast did in the first half. Nurkic’s minutes tonight DID make a huge difference to this team!
If you missed tonight’s killer play, I feel sorry for you because as The Joker drove the ball down the court, he had a behind the back dribble and a beautiful assist to Wilson Chandler for a beautiful dunk. Nikola Jokic is an INCREDIBLE asset and the Nuggets need to protect him at all costs. Jokic ended the game just two rebounds short of his first triple-double.
For the Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns had his first ever career triple-double but even that wasn’t enough to win the game. The real battle tonight was against Andrew Wiggins, who put in 36 minutes and 25 points, 20 of them being in the first half alone. All five of the TWolves starters also ended the game in double digits.
Tonight, the Nuggets were shooting 51.9% from the field and 35.7% from downtown. The Timberwolves were not shooting nearly as well and shot 44.7% from the field and 28% from the 3-point line.
After the Nuggets have shown lack of defensiveness, they started to liven up tonight. I saw the hustle tonight that I hadn’t seen in weeks from this team and I believe that was a key element in tonight’s win!
What did you think of tonights game? Let us know on twitter @DigInDenver!