Win-or-Go-Home: Timberwolves vs Nuggets, Game 5 NBA Odds and Predictions

Win-or-Go-Home: Timberwolves vs Nuggets, Game 5 NBA Odds and Predictions

The home team has yet to win a game in the Western Conference semifinal series between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets as it returns to the Mile High City for Game 5 on Tuesday tied 2-2.

The Nuggets are favored on the NBA odds with Jamal Murray questionable for this Game.

Expert Pick Nuggets -4.5 (total 206)
What´s the Score? Nuggets 108, Timberwolves 105
 

Minnesota Timberwolves Lines +149

After winning the first two games of this series fairly easily in Denver, it sure looked like the Timberwolves might sweep out the defending champions but they could not hold serve at home. The series is now 2-2 after Denver’s 115-107 win in Game 4 on Sunday night. There was more to the Wolves’ loss than the final 20.2 seconds of the second quarter, but they lost by eight and they gave up eight points in that final sequence so a seven-point lead became 15. On offense, Minnesota was frantic for the first half.

“This is a great team. They’re not going to beat themselves,” Wolves coach Chris Finch said. “We talked about that at the beginning of the series. It’s inexcusable to have a segment like that where they have eight points in seven seconds or something like that. … These are inexcusable plays you can’t make right now.”

Anthony Edwards was terrific in the loss with 44 points, five rebounds and five assists in 45 minutes and 20 seconds. He shot an efficient 16-of-25 from the floor, while his teammates combined to shoot 23-of-57 for just 63 points. The Wolves outscored Denver by five in those minutes and lost the 2:40 he sat by a staggering 13 points. His teammates shot 40 percent for the game and 30 percent from deep.

“I don’t think they got any momentum. We won two games. They won two games,” Edwards said with a shrug. “At this point, it’s whoever wins two games. I don’t know how people look at it, but I look at it like I’m happy. I’m ready.”

Edwards has set the franchise record for points in a playoff game twice this series, first with his 43 in Game 1 and then with 44 on Sunday night. He has scored 40 or more points in three of his last five games.

Karl-Anthony Towns struggled big time at 5-for-18 from the field for 13 points but did add 12 rebounds and three assists in 38 minutes. Towns might have ended with a double-double, and his overall stat line looked decent despite the loss. Still, his shooting woes are impossible to overlook, especially in a game where the Timberwolves needed him to provide a spark on offense.

“Things weren’t falling today,” said Towns, who was 1-for-10 in the first half when the Wolves dug their big hole. “I take responsibility for that. I know I put the work in, so I feel good about the work I put in. It’s shown this playoffs, obviously. But it’s the way the game goes. It’s not a fun game sometimes.”

Towns scored at least 20 points in Games 1 and 2 of the semifinals in Denver, but he failed to eclipse 14 points at home in Games 3 and 4. Towns has been mostly deferential on offense through eight postseason games, averaging 18.5 points on just 11.5 shots per contest.

Mike Conley added 15 points and nine assists. He’s now scored in double digits in three of the four games thus far while dishing out at least six assists each time.

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Denver Nuggets Lines -175

What an amazing turnaround for the Nuggets after losing the first two games as in the two games in Minnesota, the Nuggets shot 54% overall and 48% from on 3-pointers in Game 3, then 57% and 45% on Sunday night in Game 4. They return to Colorado having reclaimed their championship swagger and with home-court advantage back in their pocket.

It’s largely thanks to Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray rekindling their two-man game and getting comfortable in areas of the court where they’re most dangerous. In the first two losses, Jokic and Murray weren’t able to establish any on-court bond as Minnesota refused to let Jokic attack from the short roll. 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.”

Aaron Gordon was unstoppable in Game 4 on Sunday as he notched 27 points on 11-of-12 shooting from the field, and he wasn’t just hitting open shots. The Timberwolves defended him well, but everything was falling and it led to a win that may have saved Denver’s season.

Gordon also picked up seven boards, six assists and two blocks. He became the first player in NBA history to put up at least 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists while shooting 90 percent or better from the field in a playoff game. He’s averaging 17.3 points per game while shooting 71.8 percent from the field in the series.

“A lot of them were contested so if Gordon turns into Kobe Bryant, we just got to live with that,” Wolves center Rudy Gobert said of Game 4.

Three-time regular-season MVP Jokic ended Sunday’s 115-107 win with 35 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. For the second game in a row, he came through whenever Denver needed him the most. He’s averaging 26.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game in the series. Murray provided 19 points, eight assists and five rebounds in Game 4. Murray drained a half-court buzzer-beater to end the first half and finished just two assists shy of posting what would’ve been his first double-double of the series. The shooting woes remain for Murray, however, as he’s hitting just 40 percent of his field goals so far in the series.

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Nuggets vs Timberwolves Info

When: Tuesday, 10:30 PM ET
Where: Ball Arena
TV: TNT
Stream: TNT app
Radio: Tunein.com

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Nuggets vs Timberwolves Game 2 Semifinal
 

The Minnesota Timberwolves upset the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets in the Mile High City in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series, but the Nuggets are again solid favorites on the NBA odds for Game 2 on Monday as they try to avoid a 2-0 hole.

This is how the Western Conference Semifinals have started, where also the Thunder vs Mavericks are fighting to reach the Conference Finals.

Expert Pick NBA Odds: Nuggets -5.5 (total 207)
What´s the Score? Nuggets 107, Timberwolves 105
 

Minnesota Timberwolves Odds +185

The Timberwolves are 5-0 in these playoffs after sweeping Phoenix in Round 1 and then upsetting the Nuggets 106-99 in Game 1 Saturday. Anthony Edwards continued his stellar postseason with a playoff career-high 43 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 42 minutes. Edwards, who scored 16 points in the first quarter alone and capped the game with 12 points in the final quarter, became the first Timberwolves player to post two consecutive 40-point playoff games. He and Kobe Bryant (2001) are the only players age 22 or younger to have back-to-back playoff games with at least 40 points.

Edwards’ 119 points over his past three playoff games are the most by a Wolves player over a three-game span in the team’s postseason history. And he did it Saturday by outplaying the reigning NBA Finals MVP — and a finalist for the regular-season MVP this year — in Nikola Jokic.

“It’s tough to beat this team,” Edwards said. “We come in, and we know it’s going to be a war. And we just stay within the game. We play within the game. They make runs, we know we’ve got to make our runs. We just fight, man. It’s going to be a fight.”

Mike Conley shot 5-of-8 from the field and finished with 14 points, 10 assists and four rebounds in 31 minutes. After a disappointing Game 1 against the Suns, Conley provided solid play over the final three games of the first-round sweep and kept it going against Dener. Conley dished 10 assists in six regular-season games, and Minnesota won all of them, so it’s no surprise the Wolves were able to extend that streak on Saturday.

NBA Sixth Man of the Year Naz Reid was a force as well, especially with starter Karl-Anthony Towns dealing with some foul trouble. Reid finished 16 points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal in 23 minutes off the bench. Reid averaged just 9.5 points across 18.5 minutes in the Wolves’ first-round series against Phoenix, but he played a more pivotal role in Game 1 of the semis. Reid came alive when it mattered most, delivering 14 of his 16 points in the decisive fourth quarter.

Reid forced Nuggets star Nikola Jokic, who finished with seven turnovers, to travel in the backcourt with just under eight minutes to play to set up a Wolves run. Then with the Wolves ahead 96-91 with less than three minutes left, Rudy Gobert read a lob Jokic was attempting to throw to Aaron Gordon, and Gobert came away with the steal. He also provided tough defense during a late possession that forced a Jokic miss at the rim.

During the regular season, the Timberwolves held their opponent to 100 points or fewer 27 times, going 24-3 when doing so. Their 27 games and 24 wins both led the league.


 

Denver Nuggets Odds -225

Denver star Nikola Jokic finished with 32 points, 9 assists, 8 rebounds and 3 steals in Game 1, but he shot just 11-for-25 from the field (2-for-9 from 3) and coughed up a game-high 7 turnovers. When asked how he could be better against the Wolves’ three-headed front line of Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert and Naz Reid in Game 2, Jokic quipped he would need to “have a duplicate clone of myself.” He was just 2-of-9 from beyond the arc and shot 11-of-25 from the field overall, highlighting an inefficient and turnover-riddled evening as Denver lost at home for the first time since March 29.

“Jokic is a very, very smart player, but I think I’m a very smart defender, too,” Gobert said. “Sometimes you’re going to win some of these, sometimes I’m going to win some of them, and just always try to stay a step ahead in those situations.”

Jokic has now scored 20+ points in 25 consecutive playoff games, surpassing Alex English for the longest streak in franchise history.

Point guard Jamal Murray, struggling with a calf strain, has also been dealing with some shooting inconsistencies for much of these playoffs to this point. Those issues popped up again during Denver’s Game 1 defeat. During the Nuggets’ five-game first round series against the Lakers, Murray made just 40% of his field goal attempts and 29.4% of his foul shots. Against Minnesota, Murray scored 17 points on just 6-of-14 shooting from the floor.

“You could tell (Murray) had some rust from not doing anything since Game 5 (against L.A.), and that wasn’t surprising,” Coach Michael Malone said. “The first kind of real action is game time against that team.”

Murray said every player is dealing with something at this point of the season. Still, he will likely have to continue fighting through the pain in order to compete at a high level for the remainder of the postseason. “I’ve accepted that,” Murray said. “I just gotta keep adjusting to get it done. The calf is whatever it is.”

Michael Porter Jr. finished with 20 points and six rebounds in 40 minutes. Porter led all players in Saturday’s contest in threes made with four. Porter has surpassed the 20-point mark in five straight playoff contests, connecting on four or more threes in three straight games. Porter Jr. has 43 career playoff steals which is tied with Mike Evans, Nene, and Bill Hanzlik for sixth most in franchise history.

Minnesota outshot Denver from the field (52.4% to 46.7%) and secured a 42-34 rebounding advantage. The Nuggets failed to score 100 points for the first time this postseason. This marks the first time since 2022 that the Nuggets have trailed in a playoff series. They never faced a series deficit in their run to the title last year.


 

Timberwolves at Nuggets Info

When: Monday, 10 PM ET
Where: Ball Arena
TV: TNT
Stream: TNT app
Radio: Tunein.com

 

Injuries to Consider

Denver Nuggets

DatePlayerPositionStatus
May 5Jamal MurrayPGDay-To-Day
Apri 14Collin GillespieGOut
Apr 5Vlatko CancarSFOut

Minnesota Timberwolves

DatePlayerPositionStatus
Apr 11Jaylen ClarkGOut
 
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2024 Timberwolves vs Nuggets Playoffs Game 2
 

The West top-seeded Denver Nuggets didn’t play very well down the stretch of the regular season but they turned it on in Game 1 vs. Minnesota in the West playoffs and are solid favorites on the NBA odds for a 2-0 lead on Wednesday.

 

Timberwolves vs. Nuggets, Game 2 | 2023 NBA Playoff Expert Analysis

 

How to Bet Minnesota at Denver NBA Odds & TV Info

  • When: Wednesday, 10 PM ET
  • Where: Ball Arena
  • TV: TNT
  • Stream: TNT app
  • Radio: Tunein.com
  • NBA Odds: Nuggets -8.5 (total 223.5)
 

Why Bet on Minnesota?

The Timberwolves looked tired after playing two play-in games in their 109-80 loss in Denver in Game 1. Karl-Anthony Towns struggled in shooting 5-for-15 for 11 points with 10 rebounds. Towns had four turnovers and shot 33% from the field, while Rudy Gobert (eight points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks in 26 minutes) attempted just five shots.

Gobert hasn’t had the same lift since his back spasms became an issue, and he wasn’t officially cleared to play in Game 1 until an hour or so before tipoff. He was unable to punish Denver for the lack of defensive attention and failed to get up and down the floor with any type of urgency. The center is still battling back spasms, but that level of performance won’t cut it in this series.

“It’s not great. Not great,” Gobert said of his back – he’s questionable for Game 2 but expected to play. “But I knew tonight was going to be tough because after what I did the last game. We only had one day of traveling and coming back tonight and play, so I knew it was going to be tough. Next game will be better.”

Anthony Edwards accumulated 18 points with five assists. The Wolves were outscored by a 61-35 margin in the second and quarters. Minnesota shot 37% from the field and 11-of-36 from three. In four meetings between the teams during the regular season, Edwards averaged 21.0 points on 46.4% shooting, so he’s capable of doing more.

Mike Conley contributed eight points, four rebounds and three assists over 25 minutes in the opener. Guard Jaylen Nowell (left knee tendinopathy) is questionable to play for Wednesday. He played 22 minutes off the bench in a blowout loss to the Nuggets in Game 1 and had 12 points.

Minnesota scored just 58 points on 71 possessions after three quarters of Game 1 — an offensive rating of 81.7. They only had an offensive rating under 90 in one game this season (87.9 against the Clippers Dec 14).

“Way more physical than we were,” Wolves coach Chris Finch said. “They played with more speed, more force, they kicked our butt in every category you that you possibly can imagine.”

 

Why Bet on Denver?

The Nuggets built an 11-point lead at the half of Game 1 and then blew Minnesota’s doors off by outscoring them 32-14 in the third quarter, taking a 29-point lead into the final 12 minutes. Nikola Jokic led a balanced Denver attack with 13 points, 14 rebounds and 6 assists before fouling out with Denver leading by 27 midway through the fourth quarter. Jokic (right wrist sprain) is questionable to play in Game 2 but he’ll play.

Game 1 was his 33rd career playoff double-double and ninth career playoff game with 13+ points, 14+ rebounds and 6+ assists. The two-time MVP has the most career playoff double-doubles in franchise history by 17 (Dan Issel, 16) and has the second most playoff double-doubles in the NBA since 2018-19.

Jamal Murray, in his first playoff game since the 2020 bubble, had 24 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. After missing his first four shot attempts of the game, Murray was 50% from the field and the lone player on either team to surpass the 20-point mark. He led six Nuggets in double figures. It was Murray’s third career playoff game with 24+ points, 8+ rebounds and 8+ assists and Denver is 3-0 in them.

Michael Porter Jr. had 18 points and 11 rebounds. MPJ was a bit rusty to start Sunday night. He shot 3-of-10 from the field in the first half, then knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter as Denver began to pull away. The Nuggets were 3-0 during the regular season when Porter Jr. had 10+ rebounds.

Denver held the Timberwolves to just 80 points, the third fewest points allowed in the playoffs in franchise history. The 29-point margin of victory was the third-largest in franchise playoff history. The Nuggets held the Timberwolves to just 37% (30-81) shooting from the field, the eighth lowest by a Nugget opponent in playoff history.

 

Game Trends

  • Timberwolves are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games.
  • Timberwolves are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
  • Nuggets are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
  • Nuggets are 19-8 ATS in their last 27 home games.
  • Timberwolves are 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings.
 

Expert Prediction

Nuggets 116, Timberwolves 110

 
 

 

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