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Confident Nuggets even the series behind the play of Jokic and Gordon | The Arkansas Democratic Gazette

MINNEAPOLIS – Nikola Jokic scored 16 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter and Aaron Gordon had 27 points on 11-of-12 shooting to propel the Denver Nuggets to an even 115-107 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night. in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals.

Jamal Murray had 12 of his 19 points in the third quarter for the Nuggets following his momentum from his buzzer-beating shot from behind half-court, and the Wolves only had a sub-double-digit deficit in the second half to a total of 3:19.

Anthony Edwards scored 44 points in another spectacular performance for Minnesota, shooting 16 of 25 from the floor. But despite a 42-31 rebounding advantage, the Wolves were beaten in their own game for the second straight time at home by the defending NBA champions, who were fired up after losing the first two games of the series on their land.

“The second game definitely woke us up,” Murray said. “We realized we couldn’t hold back.”

The series returns to Denver for Game 5 Tuesday night.

Mike Conley scored 15 points, Karl-Anthony Towns was just 5 of 18 from the field for 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Rudy Gobert woke up late to score 11 points and grab 14 rebounds. However, the Wolves were trailing at home for a second consecutive match.

The Nuggets scored eight straight points in 20 seconds to close the first half, highlighted by Murray’s improbable heave.

Gordon only missed his shot with 3:39 remaining. More importantly, he took the lead in tracking down Towns and even tried to slow Edwards down several times.

“The shooting, the playmaking, the physicality, the defense on two All-Stars, there’s so much asked of him right now,” coach Mike Malone said. “What you love about Aaron Gordon from day one, when he put on that Nuggets uniform, it’s always been for the Nuggets first. He’s truly selfless.”

The three days off between Games 2 and 3 did the Wolves no good, resulting in a 27-point loss, after which coach Chris Finch declared them feeling “fat and lazy” after all the praise near and far for their performance in Denver. They needed to reintroduce their advantage immediately to keep the crowd roaring, and Edwards dutifully led that response.

The 2020 first-round draft pick scored nine points in the first four minutes before Murray even touched the ball, with Gordon and Jokic sharing point guard duties to reduce the burden on Murray and his strained left calf muscle.

After a quiet Game 3, Edwards was on a mission to get the Wolves to a win, as the Nuggets fully expected. Their charge on him in the lane wasn’t enough, as he was hitting from all over the court, but the rest of the Wolves often couldn’t make the Nuggets pay for leaving them open.

They missed shots at the rim, not just three-pointers in the corners. Towns missed his first seven shots, and while his effort and defense never suffered, he was a mess trying to put the ball in the basket, rarely drawing the fouls he advocated.

The Wolves showed off their league-best defense and enviable depth in the first two games, but the Nuggets copied and pasted that formula on the road. When their secondary scorers and bench players hit their jumpers, they are awfully difficult to beat.

Gordon, Justin Holiday (10 points), Christian Braun (11 points) and Reggie Jackson (six points) went a combined 8 of 11 from three-point range. They fueled a 26-4 run that bridged the first and second quarters, and all but five points on that spurt came with four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Gobert resting on the bench.

PACERS 121,

KNICKS 89

INDIANAPOLIS — Tyrese Haliburton scored 20 points, TJ McConnell added 15 points and 10 assists and Indiana earned its third-largest playoff victory ever, beating New York to even the Conference semifinal series Is at 2-2.

Haliburton also had 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 three-pointers as the Pacers led by 43 points during a start-to-finish adventure. They narrowly missed their most lopsided playoff victory, when they beat Cleveland by 34 points in April 2018.

Game 5 of the series will be played Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks only put three players in double figures. Alec Burks finished with 20, Jalen Brunson scored 18 – his fewest in the playoffs – and Deuce McBride scored 16 on the day they shot 33.7% from the floor, 18.9% from three points and faced the biggest deficit of any team. in these playoffs.

photo Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert, right, loses control of the basketball as Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) defends him during the first half of Game 4 of a second-round playoff series in NBA basketball, Sunday, May 12, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
photo Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) jogs onto the court after making a shot during the first half of Game 4 of a second round NBA basketball playoff series against the Timberwolves of Minnesota, Sunday, May 12, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
photo Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (5) goes up to shoot as Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) defends during the first half in Game 4 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, the Sunday May 12, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
photo Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (5) reacts after not receiving a foul call during the first half of Game 4 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday May 12, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
photo Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (5) and center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) talk during the first half of Game 4 of a second round NBA basketball playoff series against the Denver Nuggets, the Sunday May 12, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
photo Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (5) is fouled by Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, top left, during the first half of Game 4 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, on Sunday, May 12, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
photo Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (5) reacts after missing a basket during the first half of Game 4 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Denver Nuggets, Sunday, May 12, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
photo Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) loses control of the ball during the first half of Game 4 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Denver Nuggets, Sunday, May 12, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
photo Denver Nuggets guard Reggie Jackson, left, works toward the basket while Minnesota Timberwolves guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker, right, defends during the first half in Game 4 of a second-round playoff basketball game of the NBA, Sunday May 12, 2024, in Minneapolis. . (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)