Nikola Jokic And Aaron Gordon Led Denver To A Game 4 Win In Spite Of A Monster Anthony Edwards Night

After the Timberwolves dominated the defending champs in the first two games in Denver, the Nuggets turned the tables in Minnesota with a blowout win in Game 3. That set the table for a very interesting Game 4, with Minnesota needing to respond to their first moment of adversity this postseason, while Denver still needed another win to reclaim homecourt advantage.

Early on, Anthony Edwards made it clear that he was not going to play as flat as he did in Game 3, scoring 23 first half points to set the tone for the Timberwolves as they ran out to an early lead.

However, the MVP likewise showed up to the arena ready to go, as Nikola Jokic nearly matched him with 19 first half points, spurring a big run to close the first quarter and get Denver into the lead.

Denver’s run continued to start the second, even with Jokic on the bench, as Justin Holiday and Aaron Gordon led the way to help push the Nuggets advantage out to double digits.

The Wolves would fight back to cut the deficit down to as few as seven on an Anthony Edwards three in the final minute before one of the more remarkable sequences of the entire postseason. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope answered that three with 20 seconds left to push the lead back to 10, and then Edwards got stripped leading to a Michael Porter Jr. runout bucket. Somehow, that wasn’t the last Nuggets bucket of the half as Jamal Murray hit a halfcourt buzzer-beater off the ensuing inbound to give Denver a 15-point lead at the break and completely deflate the Wolves.

Murray stayed hot coming out of the break and Gordon continued his perfect night from the field to keep Denver afloat for the first half of the third even as Minnesota tried to mount a run.

However, the Wolves would get it back down to 11 as Anthony Edwards simply would not be denied, scoring 14 in the third, including a vicious driving dunk late in the quarter.

The Wolves found their rhythm offensively in the fourth, but they could not get enough stops to ever really threaten the Nuggets advantage. That was thanks to a masterful Jokic performance, but also an unbelievable effort from Gordon, who made his 10th consecutive shot of the night over Rudy Gobert in the fourth.

That pattern continued for the rest of the fourth, as every time Minnesota would make anything that even looked like a run, the Nuggets were able to find an answer on the other end. Typically, it was thanks to a bucket or a pass from Jokic.

The Nuggets ultimately held on for a 115-107 win, with Jokic leading the way with 33 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, and three steals on 14-of-25 shooting, as the three-time MVP put forth a sensational effort. In support, Aaron Gordon was phenomenal with 27 points, seven rebounds, and five assists on 11-of-12 shooting, as his ability to score inside and out made Denver’s offense impossible to deal with. Jamal Murray added 19 points and eight assists, although he was just 8-of-17 shooting. They even got 21 points from Justin Holiday and Christian Braun off the bench, with Braun closing the game over Michael Porter Jr.

For Minnesota, they just simply couldn’t provide Edwards with enough help. The young star finished the game with 44 points, five rebounds, and five assists on 16-of-25 shooting, but no one else could score more than 15 on the Wolves roster. Those 15 came from Mike Conley (on 12 shots) who also had nine assists, while Rudy Gobert had 11 points and 14 boards. The real issue was that Karl-Anthony Towns could only muster 13 points on 5-of-18 shooting, which allowed Denver to tilt their defense further towards Edwards in the fourth quarter and make it difficult for him to get clean looks at the bucket.

As the series shifts back to Denver, it’s all tied up at 2-2 and the Nuggets will hope to become the first home team to get a win. Game 5 will tipoff at 10:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 14 on TNT.