Nuggets respond big time with Game 3 romp of Timberwolves, cut West semis series to 2-1

Published May 11, 2024, 1:06 PMPao Ambat

The Denver Nuggets handed the Minnesota Timberwolves their first loss this playoffs.

Nuggets superstar duo of Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic combined for 48 points in a resounding Game 3 win.

No tossing of towel or a heat pack this time. 

In a must-win game, Jamal Murray sent an early statement and the rest of the defending champion Denver Nuggets followed. 

Murray waxed hot early and finished with 24 points, while Nikola Jokic recorded a near triple-double, as the Nuggets bounced back convincingly with a 117-90 Game 3 rout of the Timberwolves, trimming the Western Conference semifinals series to 2-1. 

Just days after being fined $100K for tossing objects in a Game 2 loss, the 27-year-old guard responded with a fast start, scoring 18 points in the first half alone.

Jokic then dominated in the third frame, pouring 13 markers as the Nuggets led by as many as 34 points en route to a dominating win.

The three-time MVP came up with another all-around outing of 24 points, 14 rebounds, and nine assists, outscoring the Timberwolves twin towers of Karl Anthony-Towns and Rudy Gobert, who combined for 20 points all-game long 

All Nuggets starters scored in double-digits with Michael Porter Jr. chipping 21, Aaron Gordon adding 13, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope contributing 10.

In probably the biggest game of their postseason campaign so far, Denver ran Minnesota out of the building early, riding a 17-7 run in the second frame to turn a 28-20 lead into a 45-27 advantage.

From that point, the Nuggets never looked back and limited the Timberwolves to less than 100 points for the first time this series.

Meanwhile, Anthony Edwards led the way for the Timberwolves with 19 points, six rebounds, and five assists while Towns added 14.

After scoring a combined 70 points in Game’s 1 and 2,

Edwards was not in his usual attack-and-score mode, scoring just nine points in the first half.

The Timberwolves struggled to find their rhythm beyond the arc, going just 9-of-28 (32 percent) and committed 16 turnovers in a blowout loss.

Minnesota started the postseason with six straight wins, the best start in their franchise history, and just before Game 4, awarded the 2024 NBA Sixth Man of the Year trophy to big man Naz Reid.

Game 4 of the series is on May 13, Monday, Philippine time.