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Timberwolves knock holders Nuggets out of play-offs

By BBC
Basketball REUTERS

Image caption: Karl-Anthony Towns (right) had 12 rebounds to go with his 34 points for Minnesota
MON, 20 MAY 2024 LISTEN
REUTERS Image caption: Karl-Anthony Towns (right) had 12 rebounds to go with his 34 points for Minnesota

The Minnesota Timberwolves knocked defending NBA champions the Denver Nuggets out of the play-offs by beating them 98-90 in the deciding game of their Western Conference semi-final series.

The Timberwolves were trailing by 20 points at one stage in the third quarter but staged a comeback to win game seven and take the series 4-3.

Karl-Anthony Towns and Jaden McDaniels each scored 23 points for Minnesota, who will play the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals.

The Indiana Pacers also progressed as they earned a 130-109 victory against the New York Knicks to win their Eastern Conference semi-final series 4-3.

Tyrese Haliburton scored 26 points for the visiting Pacers, who set an NBA play-off record by shooting 67.1% from the field.

They will now take on the Boston Celtics.
Minnesota won for a third time at Denver in their series and victory meant they reached the Western Conference final for the first time in 20 years.

In the process, they became the first team to come back from a half-time deficit of more than 11 points to win a game seven.

"It showed us who we are," said Anthony Edwards, who scored 16 points for Minnesota.

"The coaches believed in us, even in the third when we were down 20. Once we really lock in on the defensive end, we're a hell of a team to beat."

Jamal Murray scored 35 points for the Nuggets and team-mate Nikola Jokic added 34 points as their defence of the title came to an end.

"The teams are more hungry, better, [more] talented than last year," said this season's Most Valuable Player Jokic.

"Everybody gets better. Everybody wants to beat us, probably."

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