Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/2

Game 1: Friday, November 2nd
Game 2: Friday, November 23rd
Game 3: Friday, January 4th
Game 4: Saturday, January 19th

Nuggets 118

(20-12, 7-7 away)

Timberwolves 107

(4-28, 3-12 home)

    Coverage: ALT

    7:00 PM ET, January 4, 2008

    Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

    1 2 3 4 T
    DEN 30 31 26 31118
    MIN 25 27 28 27107

    Top Performers

    Denver: A. Iverson 33 Pts, 3 Reb, 4 Ast

    Minnesota: R. McCants 34 Pts, 5 Reb, 4 Ast

    Nuggets-Timberwolves Preview


    After rallying to beat one of the Western Conference's best teams their last time out, the Denver Nuggets hope to avoid a letdown when they play the league's worst team.

    The Nuggets look to move into sole position of first place in the Northwest Division when they visit the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.

    Denver (19-12) defeated defending world champion San Antonio 80-77 on Thursday to win for the fifth time in six games. The Nuggets trailed by four with 90 seconds left before scoring the game's final seven points.

    Kenyon Martin's basket 45 seconds left after Anthony Carter stole the ball from Tim Duncan put Denver up 78-77. Martin, who had missed four of five games since straining his right hamstring on Dec. 20, then rejected Tony Parker's shot at the other end for his season-high seventh block.

    The Nuggets are allowing the sixth-most points in the league -- 102.7 per game -- but got a big lift from their defense on Thursday, allowing season lows in points and field goal percentage (37.0 percent).

    "We beat a very good team in their type of game," Denver coach George Karl said. "Defensively, we're actually stronger than offensively right now. It's strange to say, but ... that's good, because the foundation of specialness usually is at the defensive end."

    The Nuggets are tied atop the division with red-hot Portland, which has won 15 of 16 and is off until hosting third-place Utah on Saturday. The stumbling Timberwolves (4-27), who are in the midst of their worst start in franchise history, are already 15 games out of first.

    The Nuggets won at Minnesota 99-91 on Nov. 2, and beat the Timberwolves 99-93 on Nov. 23 in Denver.

    On Thursday, Allen Iverson finished with 29 points on 10-of-18 shooting after scoring just 13 on 2-of-12 from the floor in Sunday's 105-95 loss to Golden State. Iverson also had 13 points on 2-of-12 shooting in Denver's most recent win over Minnesota.

    Carmelo Anthony had 17 points versus the Spurs -- 8.4 below his season average -- after averaging 31.0 points in his previous six games. Anthony has topped the 30-point mark in both games against the Timberwolves this season, tallying 64 on 23-of-44 shooting in those contests.

    Minnesota lost to the Trail Blazers 90-79 on Wednesday, and has dropped six straight and 12 of 13. Rarely have the games been close during their latest skid, as the Timberwolves are getting outscored by an average of 14.6 points.

    Minnesota shot a season-low 35.0 percent on Wednesday, and finished with just six fast-break points. It is averaging a league-low 7.9 points in transition on the season.

    "We couldn't get going offensively to make a shot," Timberwolves coach Randy Wittman said. "We couldn't convert a break. We were just atrocious in our fast break."

    Al Jefferson had team highs of 29 points and 16 rebounds on Wednesday for his 10th double-double in his last 12 games. Jefferson has totaled 31 points and 27 boards in the two games against the Nuggets this season.

    Minnesota has not lost two home games to Denver in one season since 1995-96.