NBA Game 3 Preview: Denver Nuggets at Minnesota T’Wolves

Apr 21, 2023

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Game: Denver Nuggets @ Minnesota Timberwolves

Time: 9:30 p.m.

Odds: Nuggets -2.5, Timberwolves +2.5

Total: 222.5

Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets had been eager to return to the postseason. The Nuggets made the playoffs the previous two seasons while Murray was sidelined recovering from a torn left anterior cruciate ligament.

Murray has made the most of his opportunity so far in the first two games of the Nuggets’ current Western Conference first-round series against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Murray has averaged 32.0 points, 6.5 assists, and 5.5 rebounds through the first two games. He just put up 40 points in Wednesday’s 122-113 Game 2 victory for the Nuggets. In his 35 postseason games, Murray had five games with at least 40 points. Murray has just four games with 40 or more points in 410 regular-season contests.

The series, which continues with Game 3 tonight in Minneapolis, is currently 2-0 in favor of Denver.

This is just the fifth time in the history of the franchise that the Nuggets are ahead 2-0 in a postseason series. Denver has won each of those series, but only one time have they ever taken a 3-0 lead. That occurred in the 2009 second-round matchup with the Dallas Mavericks. The Nuggets went on to win that series 4-1 and advance to the next round.

Minnesota has never won a playoff series after trailing 2-0. The Timberwolves have, however, won a Game 3 three times in their prior five attempts when trailing 2-0.

In Game 2, Denver got off to a fast start and led by 21 points before Minnesota battled back and took the lead heading into the fourth quarter, 89-87. In the loss in Game 2, Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards put up 41 points while shooting 14-of-23 from the field and 6-of-10 from beyond the arc.

Karl-Anthony Towns must turn things around for the Timberwolves to have a chance to come back and challenge Denver. Towns has only made 8-of-27 field goals (29.6 percent) so far in the series, including a measly 3-of-12 (35.0 percent) from three-point range. Towns finished the regular season with six games left and two games in the NBA play-in tournament, shooting 54.6 percent from the field and 44.1 percent from beyond the arc.

Minnesota has just one win in its last four games. The TWolves have lost three straight to the Nuggets. Minnesota has had some success against the number going 5-2 ATS in its last seven games. They are, however, just 5-13 ATS in the last 18 games against Denver at home.

Interestingly, in the last 17 games against Denver at home, the total has gone Under 12 times. The Under is 4-1 in Minnesota’s last five games, but against the Nuggets the Over is 7-2 in the last nine games. Denver also has been trending Under recently. Twelve of the Nuggets last 15 games have gone Under the total. Denver and Minnesota have averaged 230.9 points per game over their last ten head-to-head meetings.

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