|Date of game: 1/5/2015
Recap: Minnesota vs. Denver
Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Arron Afflalo scored a season-high 34 points and went 4-of-6 from beyond the arc in the Denver Nuggets' 110-101 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Denver got 47 points from its bench to snap a seven-game road losing streak. J.J. Hickson led the reserves with 16 points and 11 rebounds and Jusuf Nurkic contributed 14 points and six boards.
The Timberwolves lost their 12th straight game but did it without head coach Flip Saunders, who missed the game with an illness. Gorgui Dieng led Minnesota with 22 points and 12 rebounds, and rookie Andrew Wiggins scored 20 points for his fourth game of at least that total.
After Minnesota jumped out to a 7-0 lead for acting coach Sam Mitchell, the Nuggets would later go on an 12-0 run to go up 20-13. Afflalo scored six of the final eight points with a pair of triples.
"I thought our guys played hard," said Mitchell. "I thought we challenged shots. I thought we moved the ball, and like we've done a lot this year, we'd go through droughts of five or six minutes where we just don't score."
Threes from Afflalo and Nate Robinson at the end of the quarter gave the Nuggets a 35-21 lead after one.
The Timberwolves had no answer for the Nuggets in the second quarter either. Denver shot 61.1 percent for the period despite not hitting a 3-pointer, and limited Minnesota to 30.4 percent shooting.
After three quick Wolves points to open the second period, Denver's 10-0 run -- with eight points coming from its bench -- ran its lead to over 20 points for the first time in the game at 45-24.
With two seconds remaining before halftime, Mo Williams' triple cut Minnesota's deficit to 62-41 at the break a minute after Afflalo's jumper gave the Nuggets their largest lead of the game at 24 points.
"The first half I think was probably the best half of basketball we've played, both offensively and defensively combined," said Nuggets coach Brian Shaw.
Minnesota finally solved Denver's defense in the third period, but could not get enough stops to get back in the game. It trimmed its deficit to 12 points on several occasions, but the Nuggets had an answer each time. Denver finished the quarter holding the Wolves without a point for 3 1/2 minutes and led 87-69 after three.
After Darrell Arthur's five fourth-quarter points extended Denver's advantage to 94-71, Minnesota went on an 18-6 run that forced Denver to bring some starters back into the game. With 1:18 to go, Afflalo hit his last triple of the night to give Denver a 110-96 lead.
Troy Daniels' triple at the buzzer capped a 7-0 Wolves' run that cut their deficit to single digits for the first time since late in the opening period.Game Notes
Minnesota forwards Chase Budinger and Robbie Hummel also missed the game with
illnesses ... Denver has won 30 of its last 39 against Minnesota ... The
Nuggets hold a 2-0 edge in the four-game season series ... The Timberwolves
fell to 1-27 when being outshot by their opponents and 1-17 when allowing 100
or more points ... Denver dominated points in the paint, 56-38.