Wolves roar to emphatic win over Nuggets

THE ANT MAN. Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (No. 5) tests the defense of Denver Nuggets Nikola Jokic (No. 15) and Aaron Gordon (No. 50) in Game 1 of the second-round playoff series in Denver. /
THE ANT MAN. Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (No. 5) tests the defense of Denver Nuggets Nikola Jokic (No. 15) and Aaron Gordon (No. 50) in Game 1 of the second-round playoff series in Denver. / AP

DENVER — Anthony Edwards’ decision-making was as spot-on as his shot-making.

When he drew a crowd, he passed. When he was open, he shot — and usually swished.

Edwards scored a playoff career-high — and franchise postseason-record — 43 points, Naz Reid had 14 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets 106-99 in Game 1 of the second-round series Sunday, May 5, 2024 (PH time).

Edwards was unstoppable in the first half, scoring 25 points, and Reid took over in the fourth quarter. Karl-Anthony Towns had 20 points despite dealing with foul trouble. The Timberwolves shot a blistering 71.1 percent from the floor in the second half.

“The whole team, we trust each other,” said Edwards, who was 17 of 29 from the floor as he posted his third career playoff game with 40 or more points. “It doesn’t matter down the stretch who takes the shot.”

All part of Edwards’ evolution on the court.

“I’m proud of the way he’s accepted the kind of growth he needed to have to be where he is,” said Conley, who finished with 14 points and 10 assists. “It’s not easy for a 22-, 23-year-old to make that adjustment so quickly.”

Two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic had 32 points, eight rebounds and nine assists for Denver, but also had seven turnovers. Jamal Murray scored 17 points after being held scoreless in the first half. Murray, the hero for the Nuggets in Round 1 with a pair of game winners that allowed Denver to eliminate the Lakers in five games, finished 6 of 14 from the floor.

Game 2 is Tuesday in Denver. / AP

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