The Denver Nuggets eight game home winning streak was snapped on Wednesday night after a 112-104 defeat to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Minnesota Timberwolves stars Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns came to life in the fourth quarter and dominated the Nuggets. Both Towns and Butler scored 25 points and both shot over 50 percent from the field. Towns was the rebounding leader for the T-Wolves with 10 and also led the team in steals with three. Butler and Towns came to life in the fourth quarter and ultimately took it to the Nuggets down the stretch, who at one point, led 80-66 in the third quarter. The Timberwolves went on a 14-2 run at that point and were led by point guard Jeff Teague. Teague had 16 points and led the Timberwolves in assists with eight. Minnesota now has a record of 19-13 and is fourth in the Western Conference.
Sixth-man specialist Jamal Crawford came up big for the Timberwolves off the bench and scored 20 points in 28 minutes of action. Crawford was 4-6 from behind the three point line and was second on the team with seven assists. Crawford’s most eye popping stat of the night was actually his +/-, Crawford was a +27, which was by far the best of any player on either team.
Turnovers were what doomed the Nuggets in the end as they committed 22, with star center Nikola Jokic leading the way with a career high 10. Jokic often overpassed and looked for his teammates far too often. Jokic still posted a strong stat line scoring 22 points, bringing down six rebounds, and chipping in four assists.
Jamal Murray was the star of the night and scored 30 points for the Nuggets on 10-17 from the field, 5-6 from behind the three-point line. Murray was feeling it all night and had an incredible four point play in the third quarter over Karl-Anthony Towns.
Jamal Murray four point play pic.twitter.com/GTBcscqFxl
— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) December 21, 2017
Murray also had an awe inspiring shot in the fourth quarter that showed shades of Steph Curry.
JAMAL. MURRAY. pic.twitter.com/lnXPTfWPNH
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) December 21, 2017
Mason Plumlee played well again and posted a strong stat line of 13 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists. Plumlee also had had three steals and posted the Nuggets highest +/- on the night with a +12. Will Barton was the complete opposite and posted the Nuggets lowest +/- against the Timberwolves with a -28. Barton shot just 3-9 from the field and scored six points in 34 minutes of action.
Trey Lyles continues to play well and scored 15 points in 24 minutes off the bench. Torrey Craig drew the start once again and played well for the Nuggets scoring 10 points, bringing down six rebounds, and played a career high 37 minutes. Craig was a busy man on the defensive end of the court and guarded Butler, Towns, Crawford, and Andrew Wiggins all throughout the game.
The Nuggets now have a tough two game road trip that starts in Portland on Friday night. After Portland, the Nuggets will take on the defending champion Golden State Warriors in Oakland on Saturday night on the second night of a back-to-back. Denver is now 16-15 on the season and dropped to seventh in the Western Conference with the loss to the Timberwolves.