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T’Wolves defense suffocates Nuggets in Game 2 blowout, Denver trails series 2-0

Minnesota would lead by as much as 32 points in the third quarter.
Timberwolves Nuggets Basketball
Posted at 10:28 PM, May 06, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-07 14:13:01-04

DENVER — The Denver Nuggets were no match for the Minnesota Timberwolves’ suffocating defense in a blowout loss in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals, 106-80.

The series moves to Minnesota with Denver trailing 2-0. Game 3 is Friday.

The Nuggets’ only lead of the game came in the first minute when Aaron Gordon made the opening bucket. The Timberwolves took an 8-6 lead with 8:50 to play in the first quarter and never looked back.

Minnesota would lead by as much as 32 points in the third quarter.

Timberwolves stars Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns led all scorers with 27 points apiece. Aaron Gordon led the way for Denver with 20 points, including 13 in the first quarter.

Denver struggled mightily against Minnesota’s top-ranked defense, shooting just 34.9% from the field and turning the ball over 19 times. It missed 11 consecutive shots during a 21-3 first-half Timberwolves run en route to the largest halftime deficit in a home playoff game in Nuggets franchise history. Minnesota blocked 12 shots in the contest.

Jamal Murray scored just two first-half points on 1-of-10 shooting and finished with 8 points on 3-of-18 shooting.

Denver's 80 points marked both its season low in points scored and Minnesota's season low in points allowed.

The lockdown defensive effort by Minnesota happened without center Rudy Gobert, the potential three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year who missed Game 2 after flying home for the birth of his son.

Teams that take a 2-0 series lead have won nearly 93% of the 454 such playoff series. Just 33 teams have overcome a 2-0 deficit, according to Land of Basketball.

This story will be updated.

Denver Nuggets Western Conference Semifinals schedule:

  • Game 2: Timberwolves @ Nuggets, Monday, May 6 (8 p.m. MST on TNT)
  • Game 3: Nuggets @ Timberwolves, Friday, May 10 (7:30 p.m. MST on ESPN)
  • Game 4: Nuggets @ Timberwolves, Sunday, May 12 (6 p.m. MST on TNT)
  • Game 5*: Timberwolves @ Nuggets, Tuesday, May 14 (TBD, TBD)
  • Game 6*: Nuggets @ Timberwolves, Thursday, May 16 (TBD, TBD)
  • Game 7*: Timberwolves @ Nuggets, Sunday, May 19 (TBD, TBD)

* if necessary