Andrew Wiggins left Minnesota's arena on Monday night with the hope that Denver would lose and, thus, secure the Timberwolves a spot in the playoffs. Not only that, Karl Anthony-Towns has had a banner year with 67 doubles-doubles - -the most since Dwight Howard in almost ten years and played in his first National Basketball Association all-star game so look for the Big KAT to step up.
Gibson, like Butler, has been a backbone-type player in his first season with the 'Wolves. He had 12 points and two steals in 18 minutes off the bench. Nuggets fans have been patiently waiting for their return to the postseason, and would hate to finish 9th in the competitive Western Conference for the second season in a row.
The Timberwolves mostly were just relieved they did their part by beating Memphis, considering way they've playing lately.
The Cleveland Cavaliers won the Central Division with their 50th win on Monday night and now sit at No. 4 in the East, where the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics are locked into the top two seeds. The Nuggets went just 2 for 8 from the field in the extra session, while Minnesota went 7 for 8 from the free-throw line. But with the 76ers taking command so quickly and essentially locking Cleveland into No. 4 long before the final buzzers, James got most of Wednesday night off.
This showdown is essentially a playoff play-in. Karl-Anthony Towns had a big night as well with 26 points and 14 rebounds.
Both teams are 46-35 with the Timberwolves now holding the eighth seed. After Taj Gibson hounded Jokic to force an air-balled 3-point try, Jeff Teague swished a floater with 1:19 left in overtime to put the Wolves back in front for good.
The Nuggets are 15-25 on the road.
DIVISION DOMINANCEWith the loss, the Nuggets finished last in the Northwest Division, a mere three games out of first.
The Nuggets last losses came on March 26th and March 27th, the first of which was a 123-104 beatdown by the 76ers followed by a close 114-110 loss to the Raptors. They lost five of their last six games to take the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Nikola Jokic had his 10th triple-double of the year with 15 points, 20 rebounds and 11 assists.
"We had to play as if we had that kind of desperation in us", said Towns, who had five dunks to help ignite the crowd. As much as there was excitement in the locker room after the game, there was also a sense of relief.
The Thunder's seeding placement for the Western Conference playoffs will be officially known later Wednesday night, but the victory assures that the Thunder will at least be the No. 6 seed and will play Utah in the first round. For the first time in 14 years, Timberwolves fans had something of outcome to cheer for. Take the Timberwolves to beat the Nuggets by three or more points tonight. Get your 100% signup bonus today.