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Wolves annihilate Nuggets, send series to Game 7

                                Denver Nuggets guard Reggie Jackson shoots against the Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert.
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Denver Nuggets guard Reggie Jackson shoots against the Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert.

Anthony Edwards scored 27 points as the Minnesota Timberwolves staved off elimination by storming to a 115-70 win over the Denver Nuggets in Game 6 of a Western Conference semifinals series today in Minneapolis.

The series will be decided in a winner-take-all Game 7 on Sunday in Denver.

Jaden McDaniels added 21 points on 8-for-10 shooting for the Timberwolves, who snapped a three-game skid.

“This guy right here, he led us tonight,” Edwards said on the TNT broadcast as he stood next to McDaniels. “I told somebody before, everybody on our team is a leader, and he was the leader tonight. He stepped it up, big time.”

McDaniels said of the team’s attitude, “Just not wanting to go home. “My teammates have got confidence in me. ‘Ant’ gives me the most confidence. Just to go out, play my game and hoop, that’s what we did today. We forced a Game 7.”

Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns (10 points, 13 rebounds) and Naz Reid (10 points, 11 rebounds) recorded double-doubles, and Rudy Gobert grabbed 14 boards to go along with eight points.

Nikola Jokic scored 22 points and pulled down nine rebounds to lead Denver. Aaron Gordon finished with 12 points and eight rebounds, and Jamal Murray scored 10 points but hit just 4 of 18 attempts from the field.

“We played terrible. I played terrible,” Murray said. “Own it. And use that to come out in front of our home fans. … We’ve got to win it.”

The Timberwolves shot 46.5 percent (40 of 86) overall and 37.5 percent (15 of 40) from beyond the arc. The Nuggets finished at 30.2 percent (26 of 86) from the field and 19.4 percent (7 of 36) from 3-point range.

Minnesota took control in the first quarter and never relented.

The Timberwolves were ahead 31-14 after the opening period. The Nuggets led 9-2 before Minnesota closed the session on a 29-5 run.

The hosts moved in front 11-9 when Towns drove for a dunk off an assist from Mike Conley, who had 13 points and five assists in his return after missing Game 5 because of a sore right Achilles tendon. Edwards made a pair of 3-pointers during the run, and Towns finished the first-quarter scoring with a layup off an assist from Nickeil Alexander-Walker.

By halftime, the Timberwolves led 59-40. McDaniels made a put-back shot at the buzzer to finish off a lopsided first half.

Minnesota was up 86-61 at the end of the third quarter. Jokic made a tip shot and a pair of free throws to close out the period, but by then the game was well out of reach.

It only got worse for Denver.

The Timberwolves went on a 24-0 run in the fourth quarter to go ahead 112-63. Jokic and several other Nuggets starters had been pulled from the game by then as coach Michael Malone turned his sights toward Game 7.

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