NBA Game Recap - Minnesota at Denver
Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:00 PM EST

BOS
112
LAL
114
F
IND
81
TOR
127
F
MIN
116
DEN
128
F
SA
103
OKC
131
F
WAS
117
CHI
126
F
NO
115
GS
101
F
DET
104
POR
107
F

Denver 128, Minnesota 116

Feb 23, 2020, 6:00 PM EST

Final

1

2

3

4

T

Minnesota (16-39)

38

27

22

29

116

Denver (39-18)

43

30

24

31

128

Millsap has 25 points as Nuggets beat Timberwolves, 128-116
Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:10 PM

DENVER (AP) Paul Millsap followed one of his worst games of the season with his best, thanks to extra film sessions.

Millsap scored a season-high 25 points on 9-of-11 shooting, and the Nuggets bounced back from their first loss in the Northwest Division to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 128-116 on Sunday night.

Millsap had just two points in a 113-101 loss at Oklahoma City on Friday night but made a quick recovery. He hit his first six shots before missing with 54 seconds left in the first half.

"I watched a lot of film over the past few days, seeing how I can get better," Millsap said. "I've been out of the lineup for a while so trying to get back in rhythm and figure things out."

Nikola Jokic was nearly as sharp, making all six of his shots in the first half and going 11 of 14 from the field. He finished with 24 points and Jamal Murray had 19 on his 23rd birthday.

Denver shot 58.9% after hitting 68.2% in the first half.

"I remember looking up at one point in the first quarter with like three minutes to go and we were shooting 100%," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. "I don't know if it was good offense or no defense."

The Timberwolves had only nine players available. D'Angelo Russell sat out for rest while Karl-Anthony Towns is out for at least two weeks with a hairline fracture in his left wrist. Kelan Martin had 19 of his career-high 21 points in the first half for Minnesota, which has lost 31 of its last 37.

"That group played really hard. I'm really proud of our guys," coach Ryan Saunders said.

It was the first game in Denver for Malik Beasley and Juancho Hernangomez since the Nuggets traded them, along with Jarred Vanderbilt, to Minnesota on Feb. 6.

"It was like practice, it was weird," said Beasley, who finished with 17. "It was cool to be out there and compete with those guys because we had that brotherhood for four years, so it's a weird feeling."

Beasley had 12 points at halftime but scored just five in the second half and was talking with his former teammates throughout the game.

"For some guys, that's how we were raised, talking trash (to) get me going a little more, get my juice flowing," Nuggets guard Monte Morris said. "Malik's one of the trash talkers. We knew coming in he was going to be talking a lot."

Minnesota stayed with Denver despite the short rotation and led 60-56 midway through the second quarter before the Nuggets used a 15-3 run to take a 73-65 lead at halftime. They stretched it to a 10-point advantage after three and opened up a 106-91 lead early in the fourth.

The Timberwolves scored nine straight to get back into it but Denver went on a 22-2 run to put it away.

TIP-INS

Timberwolves: The Nuggets showed a video tribute to Beasley, Hernangomez and Vanderbilt during a timeout in the first quarter. ... F Allen Crabbe was out for personal reasons. ... Saunders said he expects Russell to play Monday night at Dallas.

Nuggets: The 73 points in the first half were a season high. ... Denver is now 10-1 against the Northwest Division. ... Malone said rookie Michael Porter Jr. is not fully recovered from the right ankle injury that cost him the last six games before the All-Star break. "I think we have a locker room full of guys who aren't 100 percent," Malone said. "Who is at this point of the season?"

HELLO, MY NAME IS...

The Timberwolves overhauled their roster through a series of trades, leading to plenty of new faces on the team. Minnesota acquired nine different players in five trades, eight of those coming over in a 24-hour period ahead of the Feb. 6 trading deadline.

That influx of talent meant integrating players on the fly, so Saunders worked his team hard recently. That led to sitting Russell for Sunday's loss.

"We have so many new guys we had almost a mid-February training camp for a day, day and a half," he said. "Three heavy days and with a heavy game schedule this week tonight it was the plan for him to take it off."

UP NEXT

Timberwolves: Play at Dallas on Monday night.

Nuggets: Host the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.

Leaders

Minnesota PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
K. Martin 21 3 0 4 0 1
M. Beasley 17 -11 1 8 1 1
Denver PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
J. McRae 0 -6 0 0 0 0
P. Dozier 0 -8 0 0 0 0

Team Comparison

MIN DEN
Points For 116 128
Field Goals 40/90-44% 53/90-59%
Three Pointers 14/40-35% 11/30-37%
Free Throws 22/29-76% 11/17-65%
Offensive Rebounds 9 5
Defensive Rebounds 29 33
Rebounds 50 50
Blocks 2 7
Steals 7 9
Turnovers 15 13
Points Scored Off Turnovers 27 24
Points in the Paint 50 76
Fast Break Points 18 19
Personal Fouls 16 24
Technical Fouls 2 0
Flagrant Fouls 0 0
Ejections 0 0

2019-2020 Regular Season - DEN Leads Series 4-0

Date Result Away Pts Ldr Home Pts Ldr
Sun Nov 10 DEN 100 @ MIN 98 M. Plumlee 2 R. Covington 4
Fri Dec 20 MIN 100 @ DEN 109 T. Graham 1 M. Porter 2
Mon Jan 20 DEN 107 @ MIN 100 T. Craig 2 A. Crabbe 3
Sun Feb 23 MIN 116 @ DEN 128 J. Nowell 6 M. Porter 2

Game Information

Stadium: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
Attendance: 19,626
Game Time: 2:17