It's been less than a week since Jimmy Butler returned to the Minnesota Timberwolves lineup six weeks after the operation to repair a ripped right meniscus. He did not have much time to keep up to date, but with the wolves fighting for their postseason, he knew he would win the Denver Nuggets win on Wednesday.
He was there all night on Wednesday, scoring seven of his team-high 31 points in the over-exertion to lead Minnesota to an exciting 112-106 win in a regular-season win-or-go home final game between two teams drawn by one Playoff Berth compete – just the third time that has happened since the NBA reached its current payout format in 1983 and has passed the first time since 1997 – that has officially eliminated the Nuggets and the NBA Timberwolves franchise which is the 13-year playoff berth. Lasting stretch has ended.
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All-Star Center Karl-Anthony Towns added 26 points and 14 rebounds in the win, Minnesota 47th of the year, to fellow rising star big man Nikola Jokic, who gave the Nuggets a game-high went 35 points on 14-for-25 shooting to go with 10 rebounds and three assists in a brilliant effort that came only a few minutes and a few short shots.
<p class = "Canvas Atom Canvas Text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt. (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Taj Gibson, who is in this summer Joining the longtime Chicago Bulls team-mate Butler in the Twin Cities, Tom Thibodeau was penning the free-agent contract by skewering Denver's late-night Serbian star Gibson stole the ball from Jokic in the short corner to a possession that could have won it for the Nuggets in the closing seconds of regulation, and went on to seize him and harass him in OT, holding Denver's top in the last 10 minutes He has scored three points in a 1-1 draw. "Data-reactid =" 27 "> Taj Gibson, who joined long-time Chicago Bulls team-mate Butler in the Twin Cities this summer, has proven himself every penny of free agent Contract that Tom Thibodeau gave him by selling the Serbian star of Denver late, Gibson gave Jokic's ball in the short corner on a ball he could have won The Nuggets in the final seconds of regulation, and continues building him and molesting him in OT, Denver keeps top Weapon on three points on 1-for-6 shooting in the last 10 minutes of play time.
This defensive effort – and Butler's stubborn effort to overcome 42-year-old fatigue to keep getting into the free-throw line too late – helped Minnesota win in the closing stages to stop Denver, who lost his place Nuggets season brought a heartbreaking untimely end and made sure that the first time since Kevin Garnetts first service, they will play in downtown Minneapolis basketball after the season.
Andrew Wiggins added 18 points, five rebounds and three assists for the Wolves in the 42nd minute and threw a pair of free-hand Clutch to put Minnesota 14 seconds ahead. Sophomore guard Jamal Murray scored 20 points in Denver, six rebounds and six assists. He made a slow start to get hot in the fourth quarter and made it a season-saving comeback for the Nuggets on Wednesday after winning six games in a row to play-off on the final night of the season to overthrow.
But expensive failures – 15 turns leading to 23 Wolves points, a series of open open looks from the outside in the color of Jokic and Will Barton (24 points, eight rebounds, five assists) in the last minute of OT – wrapped up as the difference, sending Denver home before the start of the first round, and moving Minnesota on its first postseason series in 14 years
That they enter as No. 8 seed and join the Houston Rockets, the number one 1 of the West, is the problem of tomorrow. There will be a party for tonight when the wolves come home.
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<p class =" canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm "type =" text "content =" Dan Devine is an author and editor of Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Send it to [email protected] or follow it on Twitter! " data-reactid = "38"> Dan Devine is an author and editor of Yahoo Sports. Drink a tip? Send him an email to [email protected] or follow him on Twitter!