Game 1: Nuggets Defeat Wolves in Comeback
The Denver Nuggets didn’t start the game the way they wanted. But what ultimately mattered was the way they finished.
Denver used a strong fourth quarter to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves in their first Las Vegas Summer League game, 88 – 82, at Thomas and Mack Center on Friday night. Emmanuel Mudiay and Gary Harris combined for 45 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists while rookie Jamal Murray added 14 points. Juan Hernangomez posted 13 points and seven rebounds. Rookie Kris Dunn led the Minnesota Timberwolves with 27 points.
In the first quarter, Emmanuel Mudiay had a nice block on Xavier Silas in an athletic play to try to jump start the Nuggets early on. But Denver just could not find the touch on their shots. They ended the first quarter shooting 2/19 from the field. Dunn also did not make it easy on the Nuggets, hitting his jump shots and coming up with two big steals.
But the Nuggets wouldn’t back down. Halfway through the quarter, the Nuggets continued to struggle from the field, but Mudiay refused to let the game get away. Mudiay’s free throw with about 4:20 left in the quarter cut the Minnesota lead to six. He would finish the second quarter with 10 points, five rebounds, and four assists. But Minnesota continued to apply pressure with forward Adreian Payne scoring the ball well. The Timberwolves would lead 46-39 going into halftime.
The Nuggets opened the second half with much more energy. A Mudiay pass found Juan Hernangomez for a dunk to open the third quarter. Dunn would answer with a jumper of his own but Gary Harris stole a pass and soared in for a one-handed jam giving the Nuggets some much needed momentum. Harris would showcase a beautiful "Euro-step" enroute to the rim for a finger roll to cut the lead to four with about 3:30 left in the quarter. Dunn continued to play well and kept the Timberwolves in the lead going into the fourth quarter.
But Gary Harris and Emmanuel Mudiay were too much for the Wolves in the fourth. Harris scored the first five points of the quarter and the Nuggets took their first lead of the game. The Nuggets then went on an 11-0 run over the next few minutes of the quarter and would hold onto the lead for the rest of the game.
Denver's second Summer League game is tomorrow night at 6 p.m. MST against the Memphis Grizzlies.