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Wolves at Nuggets Game 7 preview: Conley, Murray both questionable

NBA Western Conference semifinals

No. 2 Denver vs. No. 3 Wolves (series tied 3-3)

Game 7: 7 p.m. Sunday, Ball Arena, Denver

TV, radio: TNT; 100.3 FM and iHeart Radio

Stats and analytics: Tap here

Opening bell: The Nuggets played two Game 7s and won both during the COVID-19 bubble in Orlando in 2020. They trailed 3-1 in both series, coming back to beat Utah in a first-round Game 7, then beating the L.A. Clippers in the second round. They lost the Western Conference finals 4-1 to the L.A. Lakers. Nuggets center Nikola Jokic — not yet a league MVP — had 30 points and 14 rebounds and Denver prevailed 80-78 when Jazz guard Mike Conley (yes, that one) watched his three-pointer at the buzzer spin in and out. "What gives me belief is this team has shown me they have done that, many times before," coach Michael Malone said after his team lost this series first two games, both in Denver. "You go back to the bubble, two 3-1 deficits in a place nobody wanted to be. We could have easily let go of the rope and our guys chose not to." … Malone coached in two other Game 7s with Cleveland and LeBron James in 2006 and 2008, both losses. … The Wolves' lone Game 7 was 20 years ago to the day on Sunday, an 83-80 home win over Sacramento in which Kevin Garnett delivered 32 points, 21 rebounds, five blocks and four steals. They lost to the Lakers in the Western finals.

Watch him: There are bigger stars for both teams, but Anthony Edwards attributed Thursday's 45-point beatdown to Conley's return from a calf injury that kept him out of Game 5. How will the calf respond three days later? The Wolves listed him as questionable for Game 7, but it would be a surprise if he sat out.

Injuries: The Nuggets again list Murray as questionable with a calf strain, but he has played through it previously this series.

Forecast: Yes, 44 points from Edwards and a big double-double from Karl-Anthony Towns sure would help. But often it's role players who determine a game like this. For Denver, that could be Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon or Justin Holiday. For the Wolves, take your pick: Jaden McDaniels, Naz Reid, Nickeil Alexander-Walker. If any or all of those deliver and defend like they did in Game 6, Wolves win. If the Nuggets bench outplays the Wolves' bench… good night. The Wolves' bench won the battle Thursday 36-9. ... Murray was the last Nugget off the practice floor Saturday. "He looked like he hadn't eaten in two days," Malone said.