Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/13

Game 1: Sunday, November 13th
Game 2: Friday, January 13th
Game 3: Friday, February 24th
Game 4: Friday, March 31st

Timberwolves 94

(30-42, 8-28 away)

Nuggets 106

(41-32, 24-13 home)

Coverage: ALT

7:00 PM ET, March 31, 2006

Pepsi Center, Denver, CO

1 2 3 4 T
MIN 26 28 22 1894
DEN 27 28 20 31106

Top Performers

Minnesota: K. Garnett 22 Pts, 16 Reb, 7 Ast, 7 Blk

Denver: C. Anthony 32 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

Melo lifts Nuggets past Wolves

DENVER (AP) -- For almost three quarters, the Denver Nuggets looked like they would lose a second-straight game to a sub.-500 division rival.

Andre Miller's block of Ricky Davis with 15.9 seconds remaining in the third helped change that -- starting a 7-0 run that would give the Nuggets the lead for good in their 106-94 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday night.

"It was needed," Miller said of the block, which came with Denver trailing 76-72 and Minnesota shooting more than 50 percent from the floor. "It carried into the fourth quarter and brought a lot of energy to the crowd."

Carmelo Anthony scored 32 points and Ruben Patterson added 14 for the Nuggets, who ended a two-game losing streak as they try to win their first division title since the 1987-88 season.

They increased their lead over Utah to 6½ games in the Northwest Division, with the Jazz losing to the Los Angeles Clippers 106-91. Denver lost to Utah 115-104 Wednesday night.

Kevin Garnett scored 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who lost their 11th straight game on the road.

The Nuggets struggled on both ends of the court for most of the first three quarters. They missed alley-oops and easy shots under the basket. The Timberwolves, meanwhile, shot 50.8 percent from the floor by the end of the third quarter, compared with 38.6 by Denver.

But late in the third, the Nuggets turned it around.

Denver's defense tightened, forcing a 24-second violation. Miller then got the block. And Greg Buckner scored five straight points to end the period, his second shot a 3-pointer, to pull Denver to 76-75 to start the fourth.

"That was huge, but that wasn't the play," Minnesota guard Marcus Banks said of Miller's block. "It was the play after play after play."

The rally continued in the fourth quarter, with the Nuggets forcing two straight turnovers and getting two dunks by Marcus Camby and Reggie Evans to take a 79-76 lead with 10:53 remaining.

Denver would never trail again.

"That's the kind of energy we would like to have going into the last nine games of the season," Anthony said. "We needed momentum after losing two games in a row before tonight."

The Nuggets outrebounded the Timberwolves 51-38, including grabbing 19 offensive rebounds.

"It's hard to run out when you don't get defensive stops," Timberwolves coach Dwane Casey said. "They got so many offensive boards that it slowed down our momentum."

The fourth quarter also got physical between the teams.

Patterson, credited with giving the Nuggets added energy since his trade from Portland last month, received his second technical and was kicked out of the game after arguing with Rashad McCants with 4:24 remaining. McCants fouled out about a minute later.

Justin Reed also was ejected after a technical late in the game, and Evans received a technical with 7.3 seconds left, a call he questioned to referee Jim Clark when the game ended.

The Nuggets finished 29-for-40 at the free throw line, while the Timberwolves made 11 of 17.

"In the third and fourth quarter, both teams started playing more aggressively," Anthony said. "Some guys got thrown out on our team, and some guys got thrown out on their team. We kept fighting and we weren't going to back down. It's not anything personal with them. Just the heat of the moment."

Game notes

Nuggets F Eduardo Najera missed the game with soreness in his right knee. He played 3 minutes Wednesday against Utah after missing the previous four games because of the injury. ... Anthony scored 30 or more points 10 times in March, including eight of the last 10 games. ... The Timberwolves last road win was on Feb. 6 victory at Phoenix. ... Garnett's 58 double-doubles lead the NBA.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 94 106
FGM-FGA 39-80 (.488) 36-88 (.409)
3PM-3PA 5-10 (.500) 5-12 (.417)
FTM-FTA 11-17 (.647) 29-40 (.725)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-38 19-51
Assists 29 22
Turnovers 16 12
Steals 5 7
Blocks 11 6
Fast Break Points 25 20
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 30 (3/0) 20 (3/0)
Largest Lead 6 17

Top Performers

Kevin Garnett Garnett
Points: 22
Reb: 16
Ast: 7
Stl: 0
Blk: 7
Carmelo Anthony Anthony
Points: 32
Reb: 5
Ast: 1
Stl: 2
Blk: 0