Nuggets hold off Timberwolves
DENVER — Forward Wilson Chandler scored 19 points, forward Kenneth Faried had 16 points and 10 rebounds and the Denver Nuggets beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 117-113 on Friday night.
Guard Ty Lawson had 14 points and 10 assists for the Nuggets, who got 66 points from their bench to hold off Minnesota.
Forward Kevin Love scored 28 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and guard Kevin Martin had 27 points for the Timberwolves
Denver’s bench gave it a boost and broke a tie in the third quarter. After Lawson gave the Nuggets a 74-72 lead, center Timofey Mozgov scored six points, Chandler had a bucket and guard Evan Fournier scored on a layup to make it 84-75 late in the quarter.
Guard J.J. Barea, who finished with 21 points, hit a shot at the buzzer, cutting it to five heading into the fourth quarter.
The Nuggets’ reserves continued their strong play in the fourth quarter. Fournier hit a 3-pointer and guard Andre Miller’s putback banker and 3-pointer made it 103-92 with 6:22 left.
The Timberwolves (6-4) closed to 109-101 on Love’s 3-pointer with 3:19 left. Forward Corey Brewer’s 3-pointer with 49 seconds left cut Denver’s lead to four.
After Chandler hit two free throws to make it a five-point game, Love made a 3-pointer with 18.9 seconds left to cut the lead to 115-113.
Chandler and Miller hit two more free throws and Faried, who finished with 10 rebounds, blocked Martin’s driving attempt in the final seconds to seal the win.
The Nuggets (4-4) went up 40-26 with 10:33 left in the second quarter, but the Timberwolves controlled the rest of the half. Martin led the resurgence with 11 of his 16 first-half points as Minnesota chipped away at the deficit.
Martin’s 18-foot jumper tied it at 52 with 2:11 left and his fast-break dunk with 9.9 seconds remaining capped a 34-16 run that ended the second quarter and gave the Timberwolves a 60-56 lead at the break.
Notes: The Timberwolves are in the midst of seven games in 11 days. Friday was the start of three back-to-back games in the next eight days. ... The Nuggets have five players listed on the NBA All-Star ballot but two of them — F Danilo Gallinari and C JaVale McGee — are hurt. ... Minnesota C Ronny Turiaf is still working his way back from a fractured right elbow suffered in the second game of the season. “As soon as he can have enough flexibility in that arm (he’ll come back), but unfortunately he’s going to have to do it on his own because we’re not going to be practicing much in the next two weeks,” coach Rick Adelman said. ... The Nuggets had 13 players averaging at least 15 minutes a game entering Friday. ... Timberwolves G Kevin Martin returned to the lineup after missing Wednesday’s game with flu-like symptoms.