canada africa partner reservation Minnesota steals Western Conference semifinal Game 1 from Denver

Minnesota steals Western Conference semifinal Game 1 from Denver

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Anthony Edwards’ 43-point outburst sent Minnesota to a Game 1 win over the Nuggets (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

By means of Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Minnesota Timberwolves’ stellar postseason run continues after defeating the Denver Nuggets, 106-99, to take a 1-0 lead in the NBA Playoffs semifinals on May 5, 2024.

Despite facing the Nuggets on their home floor in Denver, the Timberwolves entered the highly anticipated matchup unfazed, extending their undefeated postseason run to five straight games after defeating the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the play- offs from the Western Conference.

Anthony Edwards was in the zone on his semi-final debut after leading the Timberwolves with 43 big points built on efficient 17/29 shooting from the field.

In addition to his outstanding offensive performance, Edwards also did the little things, recording seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal.

Edwards’ stellar Game 1 performance helped Minnesota pull ahead early in the game as they built a double-digit lead that forced Denver’s head coach Michael Malone to call a timeout.

Just when the Timberwolves thought they could keep up their fast pace, the Nuggets showed why they are the reigning NBA champions and erased Minnesota’s lead when they orchestrated a huge scoring run in the final five minutes of the opening quarter.

From a double-digit deficit, Denver suddenly turned the tables and took away the lead heading into the second quarter, 25-23.

It was then a dogfight between two heavyweight teams as Minnesota and Denver traded blows until the fourth and final canto.

When the Timberwolves needed someone to create a spark in the fourth frame, newly crowned NBA Sixth Man of the Year Naz Reid accepted the challenge and went crazy in the first seven minutes of the final period.

Reid helped Minnesota regain the lead, wasting long three-pointers, while also exposing Denver’s lack of weak side defense as he drove into the baseline for some easy deuces.

From then on, Minnesota simply held their lead and didn’t allow the Nuggets to storm back. In the clutch situation of the game, with just three minutes remaining, the Timberwolves then went to their money man, Edwards, and delivered again as he cashed in two crucial perimeter jumpers to help them seal the deal.

Reid stopped Edwards with 16 big points off the bench, while Karl Anthony-Towns, despite the foul trouble, was their second best scorer with 20 markers built from efficient 8/13 shooting from the field.

On the other hand, the Nuggets received a near triple-double from Nikola Jokic with 32 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, but that wasn’t enough to help them get the win in Game 1.