Nuggets 117, Timberwolves 110

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

MINNEAPOLIS -- Denver Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson led seven other teammates who also scored in double-digits with a 23-point performance in Wednesday's 117-110 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis.
The guy whom the Nuggets took in the 2009 draft with a pick they acquired from the Timberwolves had 19 of those points through three quarters and provided the final four with individual free throws in the final 24.6 seconds that helped preserve the victory.
Lawson also provided his team's pulse with his ability to push the ball and get to wherever he wanted on a night when Denver outscored Minnesota 60-46 in points in the paint, 20-15 in fast-break points and had a 25-17 advantage in points scored off the other team's turnovers.
The Nuggets scored all 27 of their fourth-quarter points either in the paint or at the free-throw line.
The Nuggets' bench also outscored their counterpart 47-10.
Denver won its fourth consecutive game and its seventh in the last nine after a 1-4 season start. The Timberwolves lost their third consecutive game, their sixth in the last eight and now at 8-9 are under .500 for the first time this season.
The Nuggets scored 64 points by halftime, 90 by the third quarter's end and by then they had led by as many as 15 points on a night when they seemingly got to the basket at will.
Lawson sure made it seem that way.
The Timberwolves pulled within 96-90 with 8:30 left, but the Nuggets answered by scoring the game's next five points to push their lead back to 101-90 with fewer than seven minutes left.
Forward Kevin Love's three-pointer started the Timberwolves back on a 10-0 run that got them within 103-102 with 3:57 left after he started that run with that three pointer and ended it with another.
But the Nuggets refused to go quietly into the night. They answered by scoring the next six points unanswered themselves.
This time, it was Nuggets forward J.J. Hickson who bookended the run with a pair of slam dunks.
The first one was a put-back slam just when it seemed like Timberwolves might grab the game's momentum. The last helped ensure that the Timberwolves didn't.
When the Timberwolves made a final push to get within 111-108 on forward Corey Brewer's slam dunk with 1:13 left, Lawson eventually got to the free-throw and made those final free throws that pushed the Timberwolves away one last time.
Nuggets guard Nate Robinson continued his productive play off the bench. He entered Wednesday having averaged 12 points a game in his last four games and on Wednesday delivered 15 points to lead the Denver bench to that lopsided advantage.
NOTES: Newly acquired Wolves F Luc Mbah a Moute joined the team Wednesday, one day after the team finalized a trade that sent former No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams to Sacramento for him. Mbah a Moute underwent a physical exam in the morning and suited up for the game. Asked what he does best, he said, "Score 27 points and grab 18 rebounds a game like Kevin Love, you know?...Everyone knows my calling card is playing defense and guarding elite scorers and talking to everybody. That's something this team could use. I'm hoping to bring that to the table, help defensively and hopefully make a better team." ... Mbah a Moute and Timberwolves star F Kevinn Love played together during Love's one collegiate season at UCLA. "I thought I would never see that guy again," Mbah a Moute said, smiling. ... Forward Danilo Gallinari (torn ACL) and center JaVale McGree (tibia stress fracture) remain out for the Nuggets. Gallinari hasn't played all season and McGee missed his ninth consecutive game on Wednesday.

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