Nuggets star Nikola Jokic’s reaction to series-tying win should have Timberwolves fans worried

Tony Nguyen | Denver Nuggets
May 14, 2024

Just when everyone thought the Denver Nuggets were down and out, they have come crawling back.

The Nuggets fell into a 0-2 series hole against the Minnesota Timberwolves after dropping two games in front of their home crowd. With Game 3 and 4 scheduled to be in Minnesota, everyone had virtually decided the Nuggets’ fate. After two embarrassing losses, Denver managed to channel some newfound energy and actually looked like the defending NBA Champions. The Nuggets would end up beating the Timberwolves in Game 3 and 4.

The home team has yet to win a game in front of their home crowd this series. With Game 5 heading back to Denver, the Nuggets hope to flip that script and potentially take a series lead.

While the first two losses were embarrassing, the Nuggets never counted themselves out. According to Nikola Jokic, the losses actually made them stronger as a team, via TNT.

“It made us stronger. It made us more together collectively,” Jokic said after Game 4. “We took a hit, and we bounced back. And hopefully we can defend home court now.”

Nuggets tie the series with a huge Game 4 victory

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) goes to the basket against Minnesota Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns (32) in the first quarter of game four of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Target Center.
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

In the first round against the Los Angeles Lakers and in the current round against the Timberwolves, the Nuggets have had a bad habit of starting games slow. While they have been able to mount comebacks in most of the games, it’s not a pattern you’d like to continue throughout the playoffs.

In Game 4, the Nuggets came out of the gates firing on all cylinders. They would establish a sizeable enough lead that would prove too large for the Timberwolves to overcome. In one of the most memorable moments from the game, the Nuggets would end up scoring eight points in less than 20 seconds just before halftime. During this scoring flurry, Jamal Murray would land a buzzer-beater shot from beyond half-court.

Everyone had counted the Nuggets out, except for the Nuggets themselves.

“Never underestimate the heart of a champion,” said Nuggets head coach Michael Malone. “They were quick to write us off, but these guys, we won a championship a year ago. We went into Miami [in the NBA Finals], won two games in a row. This team has been tested time and time again, and we found a way to solve whatever’s been thrown at us.”

Even though the Nuggets have managed to get themselves back into the series, they know not to get too far ahead of themselves.

“This series is a long way from being over,” said Malone. “We’re not celebrating. It’s 2-2. … But what I found about our group is that they do believe in themselves. And more importantly, they believe in the man next to them. We have a group that is acting as you would hope a championship team would act.”

Jokic put on another MVP-like performance with 35 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists. Aside from this performance by the three-time NBA MVP, Aaron Gordon put on a clutch performance that helped seal the win for the Nuggets. Gordon would hit all of his first 10 shots before finishing the night going 11-for-12 with 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists.