Final

Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/4

Game 1: Thursday, November 4th
Timberwolves92Final
OT
Nuggets94
Game 2: Friday, January 14th
Timberwolves93Final
Nuggets83
Game 3: Wednesday, February 9th
Nuggets92Final
Timberwolves98
Game 4: Friday, April 8th
Nuggets107Final
Timberwolves104

Nuggets 107

(44-31, 18-21 away)

Timberwolves 104

(40-36, 22-16 home)

Coverage: ALT

8:30 PM ET, April 8, 2005

Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

1 2 3 4 T
DEN 25 29 27 26107
MIN 27 24 22 31104

Top Performers

Denver: A. Miller 22 Pts, 4 Reb, 15 Ast, 3 Stl

Minnesota: K. Garnett 26 Pts, 16 Reb, 7 Ast, 3 Stl

Denver wins 20 of its last 22

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Kevin Garnett was in no mood to linger over the latest loss in the Minnesota Timberwolves' disappointing season.

"We've got no one to blame but ourselves," said Garnett, who took just one question after the Wolves' 107-104 setback to the Denver Nuggets on Friday night. "That's a tough thing to swallow."

Carmelo Anthony scored 26 points and Andre Miller had 22 points and 15 assists to help the Denver Nuggets deal a serious blow to the Timberwolves' playoff hopes.

Minnesota, which finished with the best record in the Western Conference last season and eliminated Denver in a first-round playoff series, fell 4½ games behind seventh-place Denver and 3½ behind eighth-place Memphis in the race for the final playoff spot in the West.

"We've got to go 6-0 the rest of the way," Garnett said.

Garnett had 26 points and 16 rebounds for the Wolves, who had won seven of their previous eight games in a late-season dash for the playoffs. But despite rallying from a 12-point second-half deficit to tie the score twice in the fourth quarter, Minnesota couldn't take the lead and Sam Cassell's potential game-tying 3-pointer missed with 2 seconds left.

"It could've gone both ways, and we made more plays down the stretch," Miller said.

Kenyon Martin added 24 points for the Nuggets, who improved to 27-6 under George Karl and won for the 20th time in their last 22 games. Denver also has won nine of its last 10 road games.

"We have confidence and swagger, and Coach has made us believe in his way of playing the game," Martin said.

Sam Cassell kept the Wolves in the game in the second half, scoring 19 of his 27 points after the break. In the fourth quarter, Cassell scored Minnesota's first eight points and made his first four shots. But he missed his final four, including the shot that could have tied it.

"We've got to have all of them so this is a major setback," Cassell said. "But it ain't over yet."

Anthony gave Denver the lead for good at 98-96 when he dunked an alley-oop pass from Miller with 3:17 left in the game. Martin, who scored 19 in the second half, drove for a layup to extend the lead to four, and the Wolves never got closer than two the rest of the way.

Those two key baskets were fitting, as Denver outscored Minnesota 48-20 in the paint.

"We were getting dunks; they were getting jump shots," Karl said.

The Wolves used an 11-2 run to tie the score at 89 when Eddie Griffin tipped in a missed free throw by Fred Hoiberg with 7:08 left.

Denver built a 94-90 lead but Wally Szczerbiak tied it again at 96 with two free throws with 3:29 to play.

Anthony, who averages 20 points per game, nearly had that many by halftime. He scored 19 in the first half on 7-of-8 shooting from the field.

The Wolves failed to get back on defense on numerous occasions in the first half. Denver players beat their opponents down the floor for fast-break dunks on four separate occasions in the first quarter alone. They outscored Minnesota 30-10 on the fast break.

Minnesota, which shot just 33 percent in the first half, stayed in the game by making 17 of 19 from the free throw line and trailed by only three at the break.

Game notes


The Nuggets also ended some recent frustrations at Target Center, winning for just the fourth time in their last 17 visits. ... Before the game, Wolves coach Kevin McHale said Karl should get Coach of the Year consideration, despite his limited stint in Denver. "I'm telling you from experience that it's hard to take over a team in the middle of the year," said McHale, who replaced Flip Saunders as Wolves coach on Feb. 12. ... The sellout crowd of 19,904 was the Wolves' largest home crowd of the season. ... Miller's 15 assists were a season high and he scored in double digits for the 11th straight game.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
DEN
MIN
Points 107 104
FGM-FGA 46-94 (.489) 34-88 (.386)
3PM-3PA 3-11 (.273) 9-21 (.429)
FTM-FTA 12-17 (.706) 27-34 (.794)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-43 15-51
Assists 31 22
Turnovers 8 13
Steals 8 5
Blocks 4 5
Fast Break Points 30 10
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (0/0) 23 (0/0)
Largest Lead 12 4

Top Performers

Denver
Minnesota
Andre Miller Miller
Points: 22
Reb: 4
Ast: 15
Stl: 3
Blk: 0
Kevin Garnett Garnett
Points: 26
Reb: 16
Ast: 7
Stl: 3
Blk: 0