ROUND UP

Nuggets defy odds behind Gordon’s huge night, level Wolves

May 12, 2024, 8:57 PM

Reports of the Denver Nuggets’ death were greatly exaggerated—the Mile High City crew took another game in the Twin Cities on Sunday, to even their Round 2 matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves 2-2. Propelled by a 26-4 early game run then an 8-0 spurt going into halftime, the Nuggets won Game 4 115-107. That second-quarter heat was highlighted by a 55-footer from Jamal Murray which proved pivotal in Denver hanging on.

The shot got Murray going, who had a very nice third quarter touching nothing but net for a stretch. The Blue Arrow finished with 19 points on 17 shots with eight assists and five rebounds. But it wasn’t Murray who set the tone, that would be Aaron Gordon. The starting power forward for the Nuggets made 11 of his 12 shots for 27 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two blocks. He was the first player in NBA history with those marks in a postseason contest.

All around, Gordon played his role outstandingly in Sunday’s Game 4. It included being a pseudo point forward, backup center, baby Nikola Jokic, slowing All-Stars Anthony Edwards and Karl Anthony Towns and hitting multiple threes.

Gordon was forced into playing JV Jokic because the big man was hampered by some foul trouble. Still, the MVP pushed Denver on their early game run for a lead they never looked back from. Jokic wound up with 35 points on 26 shots, seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals. It was another huge response game from Jokic and the Nuggets after their lousy first two games at home.

Not only has Denver shown a championship fight we hadn’t seen in these playoffs, but we’ve seen some depth we hadn’t all year.

Reggie Jackson had two three-pointers and three helpers, leading a bench mob that got 10 points and three rebounds from Justin Holiday and a good enough night from Christian Braun for him to close—he had 11 points and three rebounds.

“The whole collectively effort I think everybody played well, AG played amazing,” Jokic told TNT. “Jamal in the second half, it was amazing. Our defense CB, KCP, AG everybody stepped up and everybody contributed to this win. It’s a big victory for us. Now we need to defend our home court.”

It’s just the eighth time in NBA history the road team has won all of the first four games of a best-of-seven series on the road. Of those teams since 1984, the better-seeded teams are 4-2 in completing a comeback from down 2-0 down.

“I think it (losing two games at home) made us stronger,” Jokic told TNT. “It made us more together collectively. So we were you know, we took a hit and we bounced back.”

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