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Seven plays that defined the Wolves’ unprecedented Game 7 comeback

A confession: I thought the Wolves were toast.

When they went down 58-38 after a Jamal Murray corner three-pointer in the third quarter to Denver in Sunday's Game 7, I muttered to nobody in particular that the game was over. The narratives were already forming in my head: A nice run, a step forward, but they just weren't quite ready for this stage.

Less than an hour later, the narrative and history were rewritten.

No team had come back from the halftime deficit the size the Wolves faced (15 points) to win a Game 7 in the NBA playoffs. But in a series that already had its share of lopsided runs and strange twists, the Wolves saved the best for last. They outscored the Nuggets 60-32 after that Murray basket to win 98-90 and earn a spot in the conference finals, as Patrick Reusse and I talked about on Monday's Daily Delivery podcast.

To get there was a team effort full of individual moments. Here are the seven that stood out to me after having some time to absorb it all:

1. Rudy Gobert dunk makes it 58-40: It seemed harmless at the time, but Gobert's dunk off a smart concept and nice feed from Karl-Anthony Towns gave the Wolves their first bucket of a spiraling third quarter. If the game gets any more out of hand at that point, Minnesota might have lost hope.

2. Jaden McDaniels three-pointer makes it 59-50: The comeback was starting to get serious. Anthony Edwards found McDaniels in the corner for a wide open three, cutting the Denver lead to single digits. The Wolves bench, which was in full view during the second half as the Wolves shot on that end, erupted and kept the energy going throughout the rest of the game.

3. Edwards step-back three makes it 67-66 at the end of three: The Wolves have struggled at the ends of quarters at times, none more so than the disastrous end of the first half of a Game 4 loss. But in this game, an Edwards steal and dunk and more importantly a tough contested three over Aaron Gordon (with two Nikola Jokic free throws in between) ensured the hard work the Wolves had done to get back into the game wouldn't go to waste.

4. Rudy Gobert's buzzer-beating two makes it 79-75 Wolves: Early in the fourth quarter and deep in the shot clock, and with Jokic draped all over him, Gobert — whose range anywhere beyond right at the rim is iffy at best — lofted in a jumper that had to depress the Nuggets. At least that's what Edwards and Towns figure.

5. Naz Reid putback dunk makes it 89-82 with 3:27 to play: Towns went to the bench with his fifth foul and was replaced by Reid at 6:21 of the fourth in what could have been a pivotal moment. But Reid stepped up with four huge plays in the next three minutes: A layup, two free throws, a thunderous putback dunk and a sweet assist (see No. 6) as the Wolves surged even further ahead.

6. Ant three makes it 92-82: Edwards shot just 6-for-24 on the night, but he made his buckets count. There were a few big ones, but perhaps none bigger than his three-pointer with 3:07 left that gave the Wolves a comfortable 10-point cushion.

7. KAT putback dunk makes it 95-88 with 41.1 seconds left: There wasn't too much drama in the final minute, but things could have become tense. After a Towns inbound pass turnover let Denver get within 93-88, Mike Conley Jr. missed a layup. But KAT came flying in for the dunk off the miss. A Denver rebound and bucket there would have made it a one-score game. Instead, it was time to celebrate.