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Nuggets 93, Timberwolves 91: Offense Struggles Again, Not Saved by Defense This Time

Minnesota struggled to get (easy) shots to fall and they drop their second game of the season.

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Minnesota Timberwolves Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves tipped off against the Denver Nuggets at Target Center late on Saturday night.

First Half

Karl-Anthony Towns didn’t take long to put his footprint on this game. Within the first 2:22 seconds, Towns had 7 points. Unfortunately, he ended the half with just 9 points on 2-for-3 shooting from the floor. He was too passive after the initial spurt that gave the Wolves energy.

D’Angelo Russell also started the first half off riding on the struggle bus. He ended the half with 3 points on 1-for-8 shooting, 4 assists, and 1 rebound. He did end the first 24 minutes as the only Wolves start with a positive plus-minus as he went to the locker room a +8. Still, it seemed that his impact wasn’t as great as those numbers suggest.

Anthony Edwards once again had himself a slow half. He ended with 8 points on just 4-13 shooting from the field. He did, however, provide us with some nice highlights, like this alley top dunk from Malik Beasley in transition.

Jaden McDaniels picked up 3 fouls in the half, but he did some nice things.

Some VERY nice things...

We got some good minutes from bench players like Naz Reid, Patrick Beverley, and Josh Okogie, though. They played hard nosed basketball and kept the Nuggets out of striking distance for their tenure on the court.

Malik Beasley wasn’t as good as we would want him to be, but he seems to be getting his legs back, which is a good sign. He shot 2-5 from deep in 12 first half minutes.

The Wolves also missed some easy looks at the rim in the first, that would have made the score look a lot prettier. The defense remained solid throughout the half. They were active scrambling around the court and kept the Nuggets from getting it going offensively.

Minnesota lead at the end of the first quarter 32-23 and built the lead to 14 points at one point, but at the end of the half they only lead by 4, 47-43.

Second Half

Minnesota struggled throughout the second half. The only players that seemingly got anything going were Naz Reid and Malik Beasley.

Beasley ended the second half going 4-for5 from deep, ending 6-for-10 from long range on the game. Him turning aa corner proved to be big for the Timberwolves as it was one of the only reasons they were kept in the game. He ended the night with 18 points.

Naz Reid hit a couple big shots, including a turn around flip-over-the-head layup.

Reid ended the night with 12 points on 5-for-8 shooting from the field. He also had a coupe nice defensive possessions on Nikola Jokic while Karl-Anthony Towns was on the bench.

Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, and Anthony Edwards played their worst collective game of the season. They each scored 14 points on 4-for-11, 6-for-15, and 6-for-19 shooting, respectively. The offense should be running through the trio every night, but if all three are struggling to make a positive impact, it’s more than likely that the Wolves will be getting blown out.

Towns struggled with Jokic and

The defense, on the other hand, held strong and allowed less than 100 points, which is the sole reason Minnesota was anywhere near the Nuggets throughout this game.

Nikola Jokic, the reigning MVP, thoroughly outplayed Karl-Anthony Towns tonight. Jokic finished with 26 points, 19 rebounds, and 7 assists.

The end of the game came close and the Wolves got a stop to get the ball back with about 6 seconds left on the clock with a chance to tie or win. They had a couple shots blocked at the rim in transition and time expired.

The fact that they were in this game after poor performances from their three stars says a lot about their defense, but the offense needs to get going as the schedule gets tougher.

FINAL: Nuggets 93, Wolves 91