HomeSPORTSTimberwolves Stun Denver with Epic Comeback; Indiana Ousts Knicks from Playoffs

Timberwolves Stun Denver with Epic Comeback; Indiana Ousts Knicks from Playoffs

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Afor Kenneth

The Minnesota Timberwolves overcame a 20-point deficit to defeat Denver 98-90, eliminating the defending NBA champions from the playoffs on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Indiana eliminated the New York Knicks.

Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves with 23 points and 12 rebounds, Jaden McDaniels also scored 23 points, and Anthony Edwards found his rhythm late in the game. This victory marked the first time a team has come back from a halftime deficit of more than 11 points to win a Game 7.

The Pacers set an NBA playoff record by making 67.1 percent of their shots—53 out of 79 attempts—in a 130-109 Game 7 win over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Anthony Edwards, a rising star for the Timberwolves at 22, credited their composure for the unexpected win against three-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets.

Minnesota was down by 15 at halftime and trailed by 20 early in the third quarter. However, Denver’s shooting cooled off while Edwards got hot, helping the Timberwolves reduce the deficit to one point by the end of the third quarter.

Edwards, who scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half, said that coach Chris Finch encouraged him at halftime to “play quicker.”

“If they’re going to continue to trap you, you got to make the right play and trust your teammates,” Edwards said. “We was just poised throughout the entire game. We just fought, fought.

“And KAT played spectacular tonight,” Edwards added of Towns. “He carried us tonight.”

Minnesota narrowed the gap to one point by the end of the third quarter and secured the lead for good with Rudy Gobert’s driving layup in the first minute of the fourth quarter.

Nikola Jokic scored 14 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter, along with 19 rebounds and seven assists. Jamal Murray contributed 35 points, but both players noted that the Nuggets missed too many crucial shots.

“I felt like we got the shots we wanted and the opportunities were there,” Murray said.

The Timberwolves, who initially stunned the Nuggets by winning the first two games in Denver before losing the next three, finished the series with a decisive Game 6 victory and capped it off with their remarkable comeback in Game 7.

“It’s a special moment,” Finch said. “This is a hell of a team with the best player on the planet. The series was wild, and this game was just a microcosm of the series.”

Minnesota will face the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference finals, while the Pacers have secured a showdown with the top-seeded Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals.

Tyrese Haliburton led the Pacers with 26 points, while Pascal Siakam and Andrew Nembhard each added 20 points, as six Pacers players scored in double figures.

For the Knicks, Donte DiVincenzo made nine three-pointers, totaling 39 points. Jalen Brunson scored 17 points and provided nine assists before exiting with a broken left hand at the start of the fourth quarter, adding to the Knicks’ injury woes.

The Pacers secured their first road win of the series with an impressive offensive display in the first half, making 29 of their 38 shots for a 76.3 shooting percentage. Although the Knicks reduced a 15-point halftime deficit to six early in the third quarter, the Pacers responded decisively.

“Just a great game overall, top to bottom for us,” Haliburton said. “We hadn’t won on the road all series – we just found a way.”

The Knicks, aiming for their first Eastern Conference finals appearance since 2000, undermined their efforts with two costly turnovers on inbounds plays, allowing the Pacers to extend their lead back to 19 points.

The Knicks hoped for a boost from forward OG Anunoby, who returned to the starting lineup after missing four games with a hamstring injury. However, Anunoby was clearly limited and left the game in the first quarter, while teammate Josh Hart continued to play despite an abdominal strain.

“Guys gave everything they had, and that’s all you could ask,” said Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau, who was without Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson and Bojan Bogdanovic for the playoffs.

“It was a battle all year and there was nothing left to give at the end.”

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