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(Thursday, January 3rd)
Final Score: Minnesota 101, Denver 97
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Alexey Shved and J.J. Barea led a balanced attack with 17 points apiece as the Minnesota Timberwolves outlasted the Denver Nuggets, 101-97, at the Pepsi Center.
Andrei Kirilenko and Luke Ridnour followed with 14 points each, while Kevin Love contributed 12 points to go along with 17 rebounds, but left the game in the third quarter after spraining his finger and did not return.
Nikola Pekovic added 11 points for Minnesota, which won for the second time in three tries.
Kosta Koufos and Ty Lawson each dropped in 16 points to pace the Nuggets, who saw their eight-game home win streak come to an end.
Andre Iguodala filled the stat sheet with 14 points, seven rebounds and six rebounds in Denver's second loss in three games.
"There are always four or five games a year you embarrass yourself and tonight was one of those nights," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "We were settling for jump shots and that's not who we are. We drifted away from who we are."
The Timberwolves held a 47-43 lead entering the third quarter, but after Kirilenko and Koufos traded layups to start the frame, Denver ripped off a 21-7 run to jump out to a 66-56 lead.
Minnesota, however, closed out the third with a 13-4 push to get back within 70-69 entering the fourth quarter, where it remained a one-possession game over the first three-plus minutes until Brewer completed a three-point play to hand the Nuggets an 83-77 edge with 8:25 to play.
The Timberwolves battled back to tie the game at 85-85 and held a brief four- point edge before Iguodala and Andre Miller scored baskets to knot the score at 91-91 with a little over three minutes left.
However, Ridnour and Barea connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to put Minnesota on top for good and they maintained at least a three-point edge for the remainder of the game.
"It's just one of those games in the NBA where our guys just fought and stayed in it," Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman said. "We got down 10 and they came back. We had a great fourth quarter."
Neither team took a lead more than five points over the opening minutes of action until a 13-0 run by the Nuggets gave them a 24-15 advantage with 2:02 left in the first quarter.
But Minnesota responded with an 8-1 trek to close its deficit to 25-23 heading into the second quarter.
After a Danilo Gallinari 3-pointer gave Denver an early 30-25 advantage, the Timberwolves scored 12 of the next 14 points to go on top, 37-32, with 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the half.
The Nuggets battled back to retake a 43-42 edge with about a minute left in the second quarter on an Iguodala alley-oop dunk before Minnesota scored the final five points of the half to carry a 47-43 lead into the break.
Minnesota snapped a four-game losing streak on the road and improved to 6-10 away from the Twin Cities this season ... The Nuggets fell to 10-2 at home this season ... Minnesota leads the season series between the teams, 2-1.
01/04 00:58:53 ET