NBA: Edwards, KAT shine as Timberwolves dominates Nuggets in series Game 2 win

NBA: Edwards, KAT shine as Timberwolves dominates Nuggets in series Game 2 win

The battle between the second-seeded Denver Nuggets and the third-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves has not gone as many would expect, as the defending champions have relinquished homecourt advantage after losing back-to-back games at home.

Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns both finished with 27 points each to lead the Timberwolves to a resounding 106-80 blowout victory over the Nuggets in their Western Conference semifinal series Game 2 at Ball Arena.

Edwards, who was 11 of 17 from the floor, also dished out seven assists, and Towns added 12 rebounds and two blocks and went 10 of 15 from the field in a win that signaled to the rest of the league that maybe Minnesota’s run in this postseason shows they are here to dominate.

“The message we want to send is that we’re extremely honored and blessed that we have this opportunity to go home up 2-0,” Towns said. “But we’re humble in this approach.”

Also, Naz Reid and Nickeil Alexander-Walker both added 14 points each for the Wolves, who didn’t have any other players in double figures.

The Timberwolves, who were without starting center Rudy Gobert due to the birth of his son, stifled Denver with their defense as they held them to 34.9% from the field (29- of 83). They put up a dominant display that saw them lead the home side in total steals (11-6), blocks (12-6), field goal percent (50-34.9), and 3-point percentage (39.4-30).

Minnesota scored more points in the paint (52-34), got more second-chance points (14-8), and even led with 18 fast-break points to the Nuggets’ ten.

“We’ve had some really good defensive efforts this year,” Wolves coach Chris Finch said “That has to be right up there with the best of them.”

“Rudy’s [Gobert] driven the defensive culture here. I think it’s a testament to his impact, his presence and what he’s infused into the team of how important defense is and how great it can be when we play it,” Finch said. “That aside, we expect to win no matter who’s with us and who’s not.”

The nuggets had no answer on both ends of the floor as they looked like shadows of themselves. Aaron Gordon led with a team-high 20 points; Nikola Jokic finished with 16 points, 16 rebounds, and eight assists; and Justin Holiday came off the bench with 13 points.

The series will head to the Target Center in Minnesota, where the Timberwolves will be looking to heap more misery on the Nuggets and go 3-0 up to boost their chances of a Western Conference Finals appearance.

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