Nuggets drop Timberwolves, will face Suns in 2nd round

Apr 25, 2023, 8:47 PM | Updated: Apr 26, 2023, 1:12 am

Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets runs on to the court prior to the game against the Minnesota...

Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets runs on to the court prior to the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center on April 23, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Denver Nuggets advanced to the Western Conference semifinals Tuesday with a five-game series victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves. They awaited the winner of the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers series, which the Suns closed out with a 136-130 win Tuesday night.

Denver took down Minnesota 112-109 in Game 5 Tuesday night after an overtime loss in Game 4.

The Nuggets and Suns set up a rematch from the 2021 playoffs, as Phoenix swept Denver in the conference semifinals, leading to a series against the Clippers in the West finals.

Both teams have the same head coaches and faces of the franchise with Phoenix’s Devin Booker and Denver’s Nikola Jokic, but the rosters and matchups are different.

Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray is healthy after missing the series two years ago with an ACL injury. He scored 35 points in Game 5 vs. the Timberwolves.

The Suns now have Kevin Durant and no Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson or Jae Crowder amongst their regulars.

The foes matched up four times in the regular season for a 2-2 split, but again, not in their final forms.

They met for the first time on Christmas Day, a game Booker exited in the first quarter with a groin injury.

He missed their next matchup on Jan. 11.

Booker and Durant both played in a March 31 meeting with Denver, but the Nuggets rested most of their starters with the top seed in the West nearly secured. Their final matchup on April 6 was the same story.

Game 1 in Denver is set for Saturday, with Game 2 on Monday.

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