|Date of game: 12/26/2014
Recap: Denver vs. Minnesota
Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Kenneth Faried racked up 26 points and a career-best 25 rebounds, and the Denver Nuggets needed every last one to hold off the Minnesota Timberwolves by a 106-102 score.
Faried, who finished 11-of-15 from the field, was one of three Nuggets to record a double-double as Denver halted a two-game skid. Ty Lawson compiled 16 points with 11 assists, while Timofey Mozgov pulled down 14 boards in addition to netting 11 points.
"It's one of the best games I've seen him play," Lawson said of Faried. "I feel like he's just playing his game. Instead of taking shots from the perimeter or midrange jumpers, he's either get(ting) a rebound and putting it back in or he's getting dump-offs. He's playing like he was toward the end of last year."
Wilson Chandler contributed 21 points to help the Nuggets send the Western Conference cellar-dwelling Timberwolves to a seventh consecutive defeat.
Thaddeus Young had 23 points for Minnesota and Andrew Wiggins tallied 22 in the loss, with Gorgui Dieng amassing 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Minnesota battled hard to turn a 10-point third-quarter deficit into a 91-86 lead with under five minutes to play, but went cold down the stretch and the Nuggets regained the upper hand behind an 8-0 run capped by two Chandler free throws with 3:30 to go.
The Timberwolves again fought back to tie the game at 98-98 when Mo Williams fed Young for a short basket with 1:49 remaining. However, Lawson burst into the lane for a layup on the ensuing possession and Denver was able to stay in front with superior foul shooting down the stretch.
Minnesota went to the line on three of its next four trips down the court, but Young, Wiggins and Dieng each went just 1-of-2 to keep the Nuggets ahead each time.
Arron Afflalo followed Dieng's attempts by making both of his free throw tries for a 104-101 Denver edge with 17.1 seconds to play, and Minnesota turned it over on its next set when Chase Budinger stepped out of bounds just before hitting what would have been a game-tying 3-pointer.
The Timberwolves managed just one point over the remaining time.
"We're a young team and sometimes it happens like that at the end of the game," Young said. "You just can't find a shot or you can't make a free throw."
Denver had opened up a 67-57 lead near the midway mark of the third quarter when the Timberwolves began to charge back, with Wiggins' triple with 3:24 left in the period finishing off a 9-3 push that trimmed the margin to four points.
The Nuggets' lead was just one when Minnesota went on a 10-4 stretch to claim a 91-86 cushion with 5:32 to play.
Denver began the contest on a 12-5 surge but trailed 29-26 early in the second quarter, with Young's 10 points over the opening frame helping Minnesota forge ahead. The Nuggets went back in front when Faried's second-chance dunk gave the hosts a 36-35 edge nearing the midway mark of the second quarter, and Denver was up as many as seven before entering the break owning a 53-47 advantage.
Faried was the main factor in Denver's halftime lead, amassing 14 points on 5- of-6 shooting while pulling down an impressive 14 rebounds over the first two quarters.Game Notes
Faried's previous career high for rebounds was 21, set against Utah on April
12 of last season ... Minnesota is on its longest losing streak since a seven-
game slide from Mar. 30-April 17, 2012, while Friday's loss was the club's
seventh in a row on the road ... The Nuggets finished with a commanding 62-44
advantage on the glass ... Williams tied a season best with 13 assists for the
Wolves ... Denver was 25-of-32 overall at the foul line, compared to a 17-
of-24 performance for Minnesota.