Live from Timberwolves-Nuggets Game 4

Play-by-play and in-game boxscore: Tap here

The Timberwolves and Denver play Game 4 of their NBA Western Conference playoff series tonight at Target Center, with the Wolves entering the contest with a 2-1 lead. Staff writer Chris Hine files this live report:

8:03 p.m.: Jamal Murray hits from half court at the buzzer for a 15-point Nuggets lead.

Denver’s Jamaal Murray intercepted a pass and threw a 55-footer as the second quarter buzzer sounded, giving Denver a 64-49 halftime lead. Nikola Jokic had 19 points, six rebounds and four assists as the Nuggets shot 64.3% against the Wolves defense.

The Wolves clawed their way back into the game and slowly increased their defensive intensity in Denver’s lead, and the Nuggets threw a haymaker late in the quarter.

The Nuggets scored eight points in the final 20 seconds, first with a Kentavious Caldwell-Pope three-pointer. Following an Anthony Edwards turnover on the other end, Jokic dunked on Michael Porter Jr. Then the Wolves were careless with an inbounds pass, time wound down and Murray finished with a steal and desperation basket.

The Wolves’ lead over Denver made it a seven-point game.

The Wolves’ bench was their strength coming into the series, outscored by Denver’s reserves to open the second quarter. Justin Holiday hit a pair of treys to ignite a 12-2 Nuggets run to start the second.

The Wolves trailed by 16, 46-30, with 7:46 to play in the quarter. Anthony Edwards and Naz Reid went on the attack for Wolves in the first half.

Edwards finished 8-for-12 with 23 points, while Reed was 4-for-4 with nine points. Outside of those two, the Wolves went 6-for-27.

See also  Indiana is the second No. 1 seed to exit March Madness in back-to-back days

7:34 pm: KAT goes 0-for-7, Wolves trail by five after one quarter

The Timberwolves had plenty of energy early and jumped out to a seven-point lead, but their offense fell apart in the first quarter and they trailed 29-24 after one quarter.

Karl-Anthony Towns got off to a rough start as he went 0-for-7 from the floor in the opening quarter. It contributed to 8-of-22 shooting by the Wolves in the first quarter, while Denver started the night 12-of-19.

League MVP Nikola Jokic left with a high-scoring attitude as he had 11 first-quarter points for Denver. Aaron Gordon also had eight points as the Nuggets overcame early mistakes from Jamaal Murray, who scored two in the first 6 minutes, 12 seconds.

Anthony Edwards promised to come out with more energy for the Wolves, hitting his first four shots and scoring 11 points in the quarter. But adding to Downs’ problems, Mike Conley started the night 1-for-4.

5:30pm: 2 to 3 layoffs left Wolves “feeling fat and lazy”

After Game 3, Wolves coach Chris Finch said the team may have been distracted at home all week prior to Friday. Before Game 4, Finch was asked what kind of distractions the team might face that week.

“Do you like it when your family is around all the time?” Finch said with a laugh.

He noted that many players had children during the offseason and each had to deal with “life stuff” and being on the road.

“When you’re on the road, it’s kind of a bunker mentality,” Finch said. “The day is painted for you. That’s what we do every minute. A house, it’s a little different. You have to be a pro and be able to handle it.”

See also  Marion County Record: Police chief resigns after investigation by local Kansas newspaper

Finch said the break between Games 2 and 3 allowed the Wolves to hear the accolades they were receiving after their Game 2 blowout victory.

“The long layoff definitely made us feel fat and lazy and everyone was telling us how well we played,” Finch said. “They came out and did an incredible job, setting the tone for us. We didn’t really respond and they got our attention. So now it’s up to us to turn it around tonight.”

Morning Shootaround: “I flushed it down the toilet”

Sunday is a new day and Game 4 is a new game, so Timberwolves guard Nickail Alexander-Walker said he doesn’t look back on Game 3’s lopsided 107-90 loss and Denver’s late-game hit on three-time MVP Nikola Jokic. In the game.

His exit from that scrimmage was a technical foul, and an upset Jokic wasn’t called for a foul for a slant screen set on him near the three-point line. Alexander-Walker’s teammate Kyle Anderson also received a technical to argue.

Down the court, Alexander-Walker made his way to the seated fans, where he remained briefly in pain. He eventually walked off the court and into the tunnel with less than six minutes left and his team trailing by 20-something points.

“To be honest, I flushed it down the toilet,” Walker-Alexander said of both the game and the play during Sunday’s Game 4 shootaround. “I didn’t see it [Jokic’s screen again] Again. We know what it is. We spoke together. What do we need to do to be better? We don’t want to live by emotions or whatever. Pay attention.”

See also  Trump said he would be arrested on Tuesday

Alexander-Walker was not listed on the Wolves’ injury report for Game 4.

“I feel great,” he said Sunday morning.

Wolves senior point guard Mike Conley was asked Sunday morning how much such incidents and emotions would carry over into the next game or the playoffs.

“For some,” Conley said. “I know about Nickell, maybe that will happen. He might run some screens on purpose tonight. You never know. It’s a physical game. We know that. We all get him with those screens. We all give people those screens. . . . He’ll be ready to play like everybody else. I know that.

The Wolves lost consecutive games just four times during the regular season and went three straight. They are 10-0 after double-digit losses, including the playoff opener in Phoenix. They were 6-0 in the playoffs until Friday’s skid. They are 2-1 in this best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series.

“I expect the same response they gave us last game,” Conley said. “Come out with a sense of urgency, a little bit of anger, passion, all that stuff. Guys don’t like to lose, especially like we did at home. It was awkward going out, but guys. I’ll be ready to go.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *