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Denver Nuggets even series with Minnesota Timberwolves 2-2

Denver Nuggets even series with Minnesota Timberwolves 2-2

MINNEAPOLIS — Nikola Jokic burned a double-team by finding Kentavious Caldwell-Pope open for a 3 then notched a steal and hit a streaking Michael Porter Jr. for a fast-break dunk before Jamal Murray collected another steal and swished a 55-foot heave at the buzzer.

In the span of 20 dizzying seconds, the Denver Nuggets scored eight points to sprint into halftime of Sunday’s Game 4 up by 15. The flurry left the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Target Center crowd stunned while propelling Denver to a 115-107 win to even the Western Conference semifinal series at 2-2.

The Nuggets left Denver on Thursday down 2-0 and feeling as if many had counted them out against the upstart Wolves. The Nuggets return to Colorado having reclaimed their championship swagger and with home-court advantage back in their pocket.

Asked what his team found in Minneapolis during these two road games, Denver coach Michael Malone quoted former Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich.

“What I found is Rudy T is right, man,” Malone said. “‘Never underestimate the heart of a champion.’ They were quick to write us off, but these guys, we won a championship a year ago. We went into Miami [in the NBA Finals], won two games in a row. This team has been tested time and time again, and we found a way to solve whatever’s been thrown at us.

“This series is a long way from being over. We’re not celebrating. It’s 2-2. … But what I found about our group is that they do believe in themselves. And more importantly, they believe in the man next to them. We have a group that is acting as you would hope a championship team would act.”

Unlike their debacle in Game 2, when Minnesota’s defense suffocated them 106-80, the Nuggets didn’t just have an answer for everything the opponents threw at them Sunday — they took it to the Wolves.

Despite 44 points from Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards, the Nuggets held Karl-Anthony Towns to 5-for-18 shooting. Aaron Gordon, who led Denver with his versatility, switched between guarding the 7-foot Towns and the 6-foot-4 Edwards.

And on offense, Gordon made his first 10…

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