The Minnesota Timberwolves have been playing very impressively lately as they are on a four-game winning streak, hoping to extend it to five as they host the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets, on the other hand, are looking to grab their fourth straight win against the Timberwolves. This game will mark the second of four matchups between these two teams this season.
They have battled each other a total of 124 times in the past as the Nuggets won 73 games while the Timberwolves pulled 51 wins. December 20 was the last time they played each other as the Timberwolves handed the Nuggets a 112-104 loss. In that game, both Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler scored 25 points each, as Towns had 10 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals. Butler pulled down 2 rebounds, dished off 4 assists, and committed 2 steals. Jamal Murray finished with 30 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
Justin Patton (toe)
Cole Aldrich (coach’s decision; 0.5 PPG, 0.2 RPG, 0.2 APG, 33.3 FG%)
Shabazz Muhammad (coach’s decision; 4.0 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 0.3 APG, 38.5 FG%, 21.1 3P%)
Anthony Brown (G-League)
Aaron Brooks (illness; 2.6 PPG, 0.6 RPG, 0.7 APG, 52.2 FG%, 54.5 3P%)
Paul Millsap (wrist; 15.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 3.0 APG, 44.6 FG%, 34.5 3P%)
Malik Beasley (coach’s decision; 3.4 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.5 APG, 40.8 FG%, 31.7 3P%)
Kenneth Faried (coach’s decision; 6.6 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 0.7 APG, 55.4 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Richard Jefferson (coach’s decision; 1.2 PPG, 0.3 RPG, 0.8 APG, 30.8 FG%, 20.0 3P%)
Emmanuel Mudiay (coach’s decision; 9.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 3.1 APG, 39.7 FG%, 40.5 3P%)
Monte Morris (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Tyler Lydon (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG)
Juan Hernangomez (3.3 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.5 APG, 37.3 FG%, 31.4 3P%)
The Minnesota Timberwolves would have full control at the beginning of the game as they shot fifty-nine percent from the field in the first half, limiting the Denver Nuggets to forty-eight percent. Jimmy Butler scored 14 points on sixty-seven percent shooting, including a three-pointer in the first quarter. Andrew Wiggins would help out with four three-pointers as he collected three defensive rebounds. Karl-Anthony Towns chalked up ten points while gobbling up eight rebounds and dishing off five assists. Gorgui Dieng played 11 minutes off of the bench as he posted up six points with a three-pointer early in the second period.
As for the Denver team, both Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray scored 13 points each while Jokic collected four rebounds and Murray dished off five assists. Wilson Chandler ended up with eight points, earning six of them from beyond the arc. Will Barton played the most minutes off of the Nuggets’ bench as he recorded eight points but it was the home team who went into halftime with a huge 71-58 advantage.
The Denver Nuggets would respond in the second half as they went on a 56-43, shooting forty-four percent from the field while the Timberwolves shot forty-two percent. Barton played 17 minutes off of the bench as he scored 20 points, which contained 3 three-pointers. Trey Lyles came off of the bench, as well, as he earned himself 11 points on seventy-five percent shooting. On the other end of the court, Butler posted up 13 points while giving out three assists. Taj Gibson had 11 points as he shot a perfect one-hundred percent from the field. Jamal Crawford played the most minutes off of the bench but was kept to just two points.
Just when the Timberwolves thought they had the game in their hands, Will Barton would hit two free-throws to send it into overtime. During overtime, the Timberwolves shot seventy-five percent from the field while the Nuggets shot fifty percent. The Timberwolves eventually closed it out on a 14-11 run, escaping with a 128 to 125 win. Jimmy Butler finished the game with a season-high 39 points, along with 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and one steal. Will Barton would settle for 28 points, 3 rebounds, and 5 assists.
The Denver Nuggets will host Joel Embiid (23.8 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 3.4 APG, 49 FG%) and the Philadelphia 76ers (15-18) on Saturday at 9:00 p.m. This game will mark the first of two matchups between these two ball clubs this season. They have battled each other a total of 84 times in the past as the Nuggets pulled 37 wins while the 76ers won 47 games.
The Minnesota Timberwolves will host Giannis Antetokounmpo (29.5 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 4.6 APG, 55 FG%) and the Milwaukee Bucks (17-15) on Thursday at 8:00 p.m. This matchup will be the first of two games that these teams will play against each other this season. They have met up a total of 54 times as the Timberwolves won 30 games while the Bucks ended up winning 24 games.