Timberwolves rally to eliminate Nuggets, advance to Western Conference Finals

For the first time in 20 years, the Minnesota Timberwolves are headed to the Western Conference Finals.

It took a massive third quarter to get there, trailing by 15 at half and as many as 20 before starting their rally. The Timberwolves went on a 21-3 run, and ended the frame on a 28-9 advantage to make it a one-point game going to the fourth quarter. 

They closed it out with big shots from Anthony Edwards, and huge minutes from Naz Reid. The Timberwolves beat the Nuggets, the defending NBA champions, 98-90 to win the best-of-seven series 4-3. They're not done yet, and next up? The Dallas Mavericks for a spot in the NBA Finals.

"Special moment, man. This is a hell of a team with the best player on the planet. This series was wild, and this game was just a microcosm of the entire series," Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said after the win.

After scoring just four points in the first half on 1-of-7 shooting, Edwards woke up and cameras caught him saying, "I’m finna get in my bag" as he started to heat up. He had nine points in the third quarter, one the Timberwolves won 28-14. Edwards finished with 16 points on 6-of-24 shooting.

"Damn I was trash, man. I shot f******g 6-for-24," Edwards said.

Rudy Gobert had the highlight of the fourth quarter, with a ridiculous fade-away jumper. He had 13 points and nine rebounds before fouling out. Karl-Anthony Towns had 23 points and 11 rebounds, and the put back dunk late in regulation that sealed Minnesota's win. Jaden McDaniels had 21 points and six rebounds. Reid had 11 points and four rebounds, making critical plays in the fourth quarter.

"The Rudy Gobert turnaround was crazy," Towns said.

"When Rudy hit the turnaround, I was like yeah, we probably got em. That’ll kill everything, that’s when I knew we had them," Edwards said.

Sunday's win comes on the same day they eliminated the Sacramento Kings 20 years ago. It’s also Kevin Garnett’s birthday. The Timberwolves out-scored the Nuggets 60-37 in the second half after trailing by as many as 20 in the third quarter.

"Shout out to KG. Happy birthday KG, Here’s your present from all of us," Towns said. "This is Timberwolves basketball. This was just a real showing of Timberwolves basketball at its finest. It’s a team effort. This game just shows that the Timberwolves are a special team."

Kevin Harlan, who called that game with the Timberwolves 20 years ago, also called Sunday night's game for TNT, closing the broadcast saying, "We'll see you in Minneapolis Wednesday night!"

Interviewing Edwards after the game, Charles Barkley told Edwards he hasn't been to Minnesota in probably 20 years.

Edwards responded, "Bring your ass!"

The Timberwolves will host the Dallas Mavericks for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Target Center. Game 2 will be Friday night.

"The fans have been waiting for this moment and this team has brought them this moment. It’s up to us now to capitalize on this opportunity. Every time we play Timberwolves basketball, we’ve had the result we’ve been looking for. The fans know what they want," Towns said.