Found April 26, 2012 on
Los Angeles Lakers
JaVale McGee scored 19 points to help the Denver Nuggets lock down the sixth seed in the Western Conference playoffs with a 131-102 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night.
Arron Afflalo scored 18 points and Danilo Gallinari had 17 points for the Nuggets, who won their fourth straight game and eighth in their last 10 as they surge into the postseason.
The Nuggets will face the third-seeded Los Angeles Lakers in the first round.
Nikola Pekovic had 18 points and 10 rebounds and J.J. Barea had 20 points and five assists for the Timberwolves, who will miss the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season. The Wolves lost 13 of their last 14 games of the season.
The Nuggets entered the game needing a win or a loss by Dallas in Atlanta to lock down the No. 6 seed in the West. Had they lost and Dallas won in Atlanta, the Nuggets would have faced No. 2 seed Oklahoma City in the first round.
It's not immediately clear if getting the sixth seed was a good thing for Denver. The Nuggets lost three of their four meetings with the Lakers this season and have never beaten them in six previous playoff series, the last one being a loss in the 2009 Western Conference finals.
Denver does seem to be playing some of its best basketball after a rough couple of weeks integrating McGee in the trade that sent longtime center Nene to Washington. The super-athletic McGee has scored in double figures in the last four games and his 19 points on Thursday night were his most in a Nuggets uniform.
The outcome on Thursday night wasn't in doubt for very long. Coach George Karl rested forward Al Harrington, who has a strained right knee. But he played all the other regulars in their final tuneup, and the Nuggets were off and running from the start.
They outscored the Timberwolves 16-4 to start the second quarter, opening up a 45-29 lead that was never really threatened. Denver shot 63 percent and out-rebounded the Wolves 48-29.
Wolves coach Rick Adelman has been very unhappy with how his young team has responded to a rash of injuries to starters Ricky Rubio (knee), Kevin Love (concussion) and Luke Ridnour (ankle). Adelman went through a similar situation in Houston when stars Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming were lost.
''We never had a downer like we had here,'' Adelman said. ''That's something we have to look at.''
Most of the Wolves wore headbands in warmups and in the game, a tribute to veteran center Brad Miller, who is retiring after 14 seasons in the league. But that was about all the interest they showed in being on the floor on Thursday night.
Miller air-balled two shots in the first quarter and had an ugly turnover, but he did hit a 3-pointer in the fourth and got a hearty cheer from the sparse home crowd. He finished with four points, four rebounds and four assists.
Miller left the game with five minutes to go, getting a standing ovation from the crowd and breaking into tears on the bench when he was swarmed by teammates.
NOTES: Love sat courtside for some guest color commentary with Fox Sports North in the second quarter. ... The Wolves finished with a record of 26-40, their most victories since 2006-07 and best winning percentage since 2005-06. ... Kenneth Faried had 15 points and seven rebounds and Kosta Koufos had 11 boards for the Nuggets.
BEST OF MAXIM
The Denver Nuggets are cruising into the playoffs, and capping the regular season against the woeful Minnesota Timberwolves may just keep it that way.
Coach George Karl is also planning to take advantage of the seemingly lopsided matchup.
Karl is looking to limit playing time for key contributors as the Nuggets try to continue their dominance of the Timberwolves on Thursday night...
Kevin Durant's battle with Kobe Bryant for the scoring title has come down to the last couple of games. The rail thin Durant dropped 32 on the visiting Denver Nuggets and this little gem on JaVale McGee just for good measure.
When you've got the wing span of Durant, dunking over big men just comes naturally whether you weight 175 pounds or not.
Javale McGee is having a very interesting season, he is either dunking on someone or being dunked on. You don’t hear much else from the big fella unless it is some sort of blooper highlight reel. Tonight when the Oklahoma City Thunder took on The Denver Nuggets Javale was once again being talked about for getting posterized by none other than Kevin Durant. Video evidence...
Denver can never turn a party down, and make no mistake about it, Denver locking up the 6th seed – in a 131-102 victory over Minnesota — destined Denver to face Hollywood in the first round. 7 Denver Nuggets scored in the double-figures as the team scored a season high of 131 points over the Timberwolves . [...]
The Denver Nuggets desperately wanted to make the playoffs to get their new young roster some experience under pressure.
In coach George Karl's mind, they got a jumpstart on that.
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Last night was the premiere of a brand-new episode of Comedy Central's South Park called, "Cartman Finds Love".Nearing the end of the episode, Kyle takes a new girl to the Denver Nuggets game against the Los Angeles Clippers as Cartman attempts to reunite her with Token: Cartman Finds LoveGet More: SOUTHPARKEric Cartman,Token Black,more...Here are some more high-rez...
Ty Lawson scored 25 points, Kenneth Faried added 13 points and 10 rebounds, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 106-101 on Wednesday night to ensure they won't be the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
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I was in search for something INSPIRING, but gave some of the best plays from the 2011-2012 season at the same time. Something that demonstrated a team that possessed heart, intensity and courage through injuries abound and trades. A video that showed what Denver Basketball is. When ESPN and the head analysts want to toss Denver [...]
The OKC Thunder was as obnoxious as ever, curdling the OKC air with their chants for an entire minute before Russell Westbrook spoke before the crowd. Fast forward 2.5 hours and the fans would be leaving the Energy Solutions Arena with hung heads and hushed chants of enthusiasm. The Denver Nuggets would pick axe their way to a [...]
The Oklahoma City Thunder locked up the number 2 seed in the Western Conference but don’t tell Kevin Durant that. Most teams are resting their star players down the stretch but not Durant he is just one of those players that is going out on every night to give it his all. He probably also played in Wednesday’s game against the Nuggets because he is chasing the...
If you were looking for the dunk of the night in the NBA, Thunder star Kevin Durant provided it in the third quarter of the Nuggets/Thunder affair.
Watch as Durant gets past his defender and dunks on JaVale McGee: