Minnesota Timberwolves rally from 20-point deficit in Game 7 to eliminate Denver Nuggets

The Minnesota Timberwolves produced a historic 20-point comeback to eliminate the defending champion Denver Nuggets 98-90 in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals.

Minnesota now advances to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 20 years, while the Nuggets become the fifth straight defending champion to fall before the conference finals.

It is the largest Game 7 comeback for 25 years, according to ESPN.

“It showed us who we are,” Timberwolves’ rising superstar Anthony Edwards said after the game. “The coaches believed in us. Even in the third when we were down 20, they were like: ‘just keep making runs, keep making runs.’

“And it showed us who we are, man. Offensively we played okay, but once we really lock in on the defensive end, we’re a helluva team to beat.”

The Nuggets blew the Timberwolves away out of the gate and opened up a 17-point half-time lead that was extended to 20 with 10 minutes and 50 seconds remaining in the third.

But by the end of the quarter, the Timberwolves had cut the deficit to one point and the team carried that momentum into the fourth quarter inside a stunned Ball Arena.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Timberwolves, while Jaden McDaniels also added 23 points to go with six rebounds.

Edwards had a tough night but turned it around late on to register 12 of his 16 points, all eight of his rebounds and four of his seven assists in the second half.

Jamal Murray had a game-high 35 points for the Nuggets, while Nikola Jokić had 34 points, 19 rebounds and seven assists.

In the end, Murray and Jokić couldn’t consistently unlock Minnesota’s stifling defense – the best in the league during the regular season – once it began clicking in the second half.

Three-time MVP Nikola Jokić couldn't power the Nuggets past the Timberwolves. - AAron Ontiveroz/Denver Post/Getty Images
Three-time MVP Nikola Jokić couldn't power the Nuggets past the Timberwolves. - AAron Ontiveroz/Denver Post/Getty Images

“Every series is a learning opportunity,” Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said after the game. “And this feeling sucks. I told our players, you go from training camp all the way through, and then it comes to an abrupt halt.

“And that hurts. So use that feeling as motivation and come back a better player.”

The Timberwolves now advance to play the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals, with Game 1 taking place in Minneapolis on Wednesday.

Pacers stun Knicks in Game 7 at MSG

The Indiana Pacers enjoyed a historic shooting night to eliminate the New York Knicks 130-109 in Game 7 at Madison Square Garden.

The Pacers shot 67.1% from the field, the highest shooting percentage in a playoff game in NBA history, according to ESPN.

It was the first road game that either team had won in this playoff series and Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle described his team as the “uninvited guest” on Sunday night.

“Here we are. When you win a Game 7 in Madison Square Garden, you’ve made history. It’s very, very difficult to do,” he told reporters.

Tyrese Haliburton scored a team-high 26 points for the Pacers, while Andrew Nembhard and Pascal Siakam added 20.

The Knicks’ evening went from bad to worse when star guard Jalen Brunson suffered a broken hand in the fourth quarter.

Donte DiVincenzo had a game-high 39 points for the Knicks.

Even with the team down and out, Knicks fans gave Josh Hart a huge standing ovation when he was subbed out for the last time in the fourth quarter. Hart has played almost every minute this season and played through injury in Game 7.

The Pacers face the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday.

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