Anthony Edwards stared straight into his locker after Minnesota’s loss to Denver in Recreation 3, reflecting on the Timberwolves being on the point of elimination.
Resolute, Edwards advised his teammates the Nuggets nonetheless wanted to win one other recreation and their season wasn’t over. The 21-year-old star made certain Minnesota’s season continued and the sequence returned to Denver.
Edwards scored 34 factors, Karl-Anthony Cities had 17 factors and 11 rebounds, and the Timberwolves beat the Nuggets 114-108 in time beyond regulation in Recreation 4 to keep away from elimination Sunday evening.
“I take pride. I didn’t want to say I got swept,” Edwards mentioned. “I don’t ever want to say I got swept in my career. So, I definitely took it personally tonight.”
Nikola Jokic tied a playoff profession excessive with 43 factors and added 11 rebounds and 6 assists for the Nuggets.
“We had an opportunity to close a series,” Jokic mentioned. “We just didn’t. They were fighting. They were desperate. But it is what it is.”
Rudy Gobert added 14 factors and 15 rebounds for Minnesota, which held on after Denver scored the ultimate 12 factors of regulation to drive time beyond regulation.
Recreation 5 is Tuesday in Denver.
“We show grit,” Cities mentioned. “It’s weird, when our backs are against the wall, we seem to find a way to get a win. It’s great that we got it tonight and we’ve got to do it three more times.”
Jamal Murray completed with 19 factors and Aaron Gordon scored 14 for Denver, which appeared primed to have an opportunity to relaxation earlier than the second spherical the place it could face the winner of the Suns-Clippers sequence, which Phoenix leads 3-1.
The Nuggets have been trying to sweep a sequence for the primary time in crew historical past, a truth not misplaced on this yr’s crew.
“That’s a missed alternative, however we’re nonetheless within the lead, we’ve nonetheless received a commanding lead, and we’re going to return residence to our place and do what we have to do,” Murray mentioned.
Edwards took a step ahead this yr whereas Cities missed 52 video games with a calf pressure. He took over the scoring load and produced a number of electrifying moments for the Timberwolves and was supported by his veteran teammates, who implored the athletic teenager to take management in video games.
“I know my team. I know they’re counting on me to pick us up,” Edwards mentioned. “That’s just what I do. I feel like in those moments, that’s when I come alive the most.”
Edwards resurrected Minnesota within the third because the crew went on a 23-9 run. He scored 16 of his factors within the quarter and the Timberwolves finally led by 12 halfway via the fourth.
“He’s got a special quality we talked about,” Minnesota coach Chris Finch mentioned. “He’s not afraid of those moments at this point in time. You see what they’re made of. They can shy away from them. He certainly doesn’t.”
Minnesota misplaced within the first spherical to Memphis final yr, surrendering three double-digit, fourth-quarter leads.
This time, Jokic took one other Wolves’ lead away — till they snapped again with 18 time beyond regulation factors.
“We’re not going to go undefeated in the postseason,” Denver coach Michael Malone mentioned. “So, yeah, we lost a game, we had our chances, but we’ve got to go home and regroup and not feel sorry for ourselves and get ready to play against a team that has some life in them.”
Edwards drained a step-back jumper with 2:52 left in regulation that gave the Wolves a 96-84 lead, their largest of the sport, however the Nuggets got here again with three straight 3-pointers. A jumper by Jokic minimize the result in one with 49 seconds left. He was fouled by Cities on the opposite finish and made one in every of two free throws to tie the sport with 12 seconds to go.
Edwards had the ball on the finish for the potential game-winner, however Kentavious Caldwell-Pope knocked it out of his palms earlier than he may shoot.
Teammates credited the work Nickeil Alexander-Walker did defensively on Murray, who averaged 27.3 factors within the first three video games. Alexander-Walker additionally scored six of his eight factors in time beyond regulation.
“He was the MVP tonight,” Edwards mentioned.
Nuggets: The league’s greatest taking pictures crew within the common season, Denver shot simply 44.2% from the sphere and was 12 of 35 from 3, its worst numbers of the sequence. … The Nuggets scored 22 factors off 12 Minnesota turnovers.
Timberwolves: Kyle Anderson, who had 11 factors off the bench, was declared out with a left eye/facial contusion after taking an errant hand to the face from Edwards within the fourth. Finch mentioned Anderson will see a watch specialist. ___