Timberwolves make playoffs for first time in 14 years

Jeff Teague attempted a shot in the second half. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ

They swept the season series with a 129-120 win in Minnesota in March, in a game in which Jimmy Butler missed since he hurt his knee in the previous meeting with Houston. After Gibson hounded Jokic to force an air-balled 3-point try, Jeff Teague swished a floater with 1:19 left in overtime to put the Wolves back in front for good.

The outcome spoiled Jokic's latest masterful effort, scoring 35 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. "So, from now on, stay in my lane".

Andrew Wiggins added 18 points, five rebounds and three assists in 42 minutes for the Wolves, and knocked down a pair of clutch free-throws to give Minnesota a two-possession lead with 14 seconds to go in overtime. However, it was Nuggets sophomore point guard Jamal Murray who hit big shots after big shots, including the game-tying basket with two minutes remaining.

He forced Jokic into the baseline for a forced layup that missed badly. Neither team scored again, with a Butler jumper clanking off the rim with seven seconds remaining, before Jokic lost the ball out of bounds in the corner with one second remaining thanks to swarming defense by Taj Gibson.

As ESPN's Zach Lowe pointed out, the Rockets have posted an absurd 130 points per 100 possessions in four games against the Timberwolves this season.

"He told me after the shootaround that he's from Brooklyn", coach Tom Thibodeau said, "and he said he'd be fine".

- It was the Timberwolves' biggest game in almost a decade and a half, a winner-take-all affair that had the potential to propel Minnesota into the playoffs or send them home in despair-and it did not disappoint. Washington beat Cleveland in 1997 and Denver beat Sacramento in 1995 to claim the final spots.

Six players are averaging at in double figures for the Rockets, they are James Harden (30.4), Chris Paul (18.6), Eric Gordon (18.0), Clint Capela (13.9), Gerald Green (12.1) and Trevor Ariza (11.7).

Here are two leftovers before we fully turn our attention to the Wolves' first-round playoff series against Houston (starting Sunday) and the temporary chaos, for however long it lasts, of having both the Wolves and Wild in the playoffs. Wilson Chandler, meanwhile, concluded his disappointing season with an 0-for-3 outing in 48 minutes.

If the Timberwolves win, the Hawks would have three picks in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft. The Timberwolves had 12 fastbreak points, and the Nuggets had zero. His streak of 246 consecutive games played, every contest of his career, is the longest current run in the league.

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