Aaron Gordon’s insane Game 4 with Nuggets lands him in extremely exclusive 3-man NBA club

Tony Nguyen | Denver Nuggets
May 13, 2024

X-factors are the ones who often dictate how good teams will be in their NBA Playoffs run. Stars are always expected to pop off but someone who is barely a scoring option doing good makes it difficult for coverages to work. Aaron Gordon is exactly that for the Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray-led Denver Nuggets. His ability to set good screens and grab boards is very vital to the team’s success. Whenever their two best players get locked up by the Minnesota Timberwolves, it becomes his time to shine and he wastes no opportunity.

The Nuggets’ X-factor

May 12, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon (50) goes to the basket against Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kyle Anderson (1) in the second quarter of game four of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
© Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Gordon thrives in efficiency. This NBA Playoffs clash against the Timberwolves showcased exactly that. He notched a 25+ point, five-rebound, and five-assist game on an insane 90% clip from all three levels of scoring. Only three players have done this in NBA Playoffs history, per StatMuse. The first one is former Most Valuable Player Charles Barkley and the other is the Point God himself, Chris Paul, who knocked down 100% of his field goal attempts.

Aaron Gordon went unconscious and picked apart the Timberwolves defense. He played a total of 41 minutes and did not look famished at all. At the end of the game, his totals added up to 27 points on 91.7% stroke from all three levels of scoring. Moreover, he also got seven rebounds and dropped six assists in this NBA Playoffs matchup. There were two cherries on top of this performance. One is that he got a steal and the other was his two blocks straight at the apex of his opponent’s shot.

The Nuggets also benefitted from him attracting defenders from weak side cuts and setting the usual back screens for Jamal Murray. If there is anyone that Coach Mike Malone can rely on to do the dirty work while also filling the stat sheet, it is clearly Gordon.

Nuggets stuff the Timberwolves

This series is now even with both squads winning two games apiece. A key adjustment that the Nuggets had to make that way was cutting off the Timberwolves’ offensive momentum. It was a poison that they were willing to take if Anthony Edwards popped off early. However, they just did not let anyone else to find their offensive rhythm. Eventually, the star guard for the Timberwolves got exhausted from creating tough shots and was just not getting any makes. With everyone else not warmed up to finish, the Nuggets achieved their goal.

Another key momentum stopper was how the Nuggets just refused the Timberwolves to get anything going. They made it hard for any ball handler to find passing lanes and drive for easy kickouts. The fact that they also hounded the primary ball handler meant that they got seven steals. The Timberwolves also got stuffed at the rim six times.

With Nikola Jokic recording 35 points and Jamal Murray going for 19, Gordon was a big factor on both sides of the floor. His effort in executing while also bringing hustle and heart is impeccable. Hopefully, this consistency stays such that the Nuggets keep advancing in the NBA Playoffs.