By Juan Blanco, Rotowire
LAS VEGAS -- The Minnesota Timberwolves took control of a tightly contested battle in the second half to defeat the Denver Nuggets, 83-71, in a Las Vegas Summer League consolation game at Cox Pavilion on Friday evening.
The Timberwolves (3-2) and Nuggets (3-2) played fairly evenly throughout the first two quarters, with Minnesota taking a 26-20 first-quarter lead and Denver responding by slicing their deficit to 45-43 by intermission. However, the Timberwolves exhibited a more dominant hand coming out of the halftime locker room, building their advantage back up to nine points before withstanding a strong defensive effort in the final period from the Nuggets to secure the win.
Minnesota led for almost the entirety of the contest, with the game only featuring two ties. Denver did win the rebounding battle by a 44-36 margin, but the T-Wolves were markedly better from the free-throw line in draining 81.2 percent of their attempts, while the Nuggets posted a 58.3 percent success rate.
The Nuggets were paced by their sole double-digit scorer, Kenrich Williams, who posted 17 points, seven rebounds, two steals and one block. Kennedy Meeks followed with nine points, 11 rebounds, three assists and one steal. Victor Sanders managed eight points, four rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal. Emmanuel Terry checked in with eight points, three boards and one steal.
Keita Bates-Diop and Josh Gray led the Timberwolves with 14-point tallies. Bates-Diop added four rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block, while Gray finished with two rebounds, one assist and one steal. Isaiah Cousins checked in with 12 points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals. Jared Terrell delivered 11 points, five rebounds, two assists and one steal.