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Butler was inserted into the starting lineup, played 22 minutes and was 7 for 10 from the field with two rebounds, one assist and four steals in his first game since getting hurt against Houston on February 23. Butler could make the difference in Los Angeles.
"It feels like Jimmy's that one piece that helps everybody be where their supposed to be at", Wolves forward Taj Gibson said.
Minnesota had a familiar face available and sitting on the bench in Jimmy Butler, but he didn't get into the game. The game starts at 10:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 5, 2018, and will air on TNT. So Butler had a predictably even-handed assessment of his own performance in his first game back after missing 17 contests due to meniscus surgery. He finished an acrobatic layup after receiving a lob pass from Teague.
Bayern Munich are crowned Bundesliga champions for the 6th consecutive season
The result leaves Bayern 20 points clear with five league games left and underlined their absolute dominance of the Bundesliga. The only exception was the 1-0 home victory over Hertha Berlin in the 2014/15 season.
Denver opened as a 5-point favorite, while the Over/Under (O/U) for the game has been set at 226.5 points. Minnesota (45-35) moved into sole possession of the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot by a half-game over the idle Denver Nuggets. Brook Lopez scored 18 points, and Ivica Zubac had 14 points and nine rebounds. Nemanja Bjelica would stand to take the biggest hit after starting in place of Butler while he was out.
Towns capped an 11-2 run with a put-back layup to give Minnesota a 78-68 advantage with 2:12 remaining in the third.
The Minnesota Timberwolves will be aiming for the season series sweep after defeating the Lakers in the first three meetings. The Timberwolves trailed 58-51 at halftime. The Timberwolves have a 5-5 record during their last 10-game stretch and are 16-23 in away games this season. Kuzma left the game in the third quarter with a mild left ankle sprain and did not return. In 38 minutes, Jokic's stat line came out to 30 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds, 4 steals, 1 block and 4 threes with 4 turnovers. Denver ranks 24th in the National Basketball Association in ball protection (turnover percentage of 14.6 percent), while the disruptive defense of Minnesota forces the fifth-most turnovers in the league (14.7 percent).
"Taking everything into consideration, we just thought it was best to wait another day", Thibodeau said after the game, per Timberwolves radio announcer Alan Horton. It's something that we're going to have to continue to work on. Teams just do whatever they want against us.
"It's just one of those zones you get into where you just let it fly", Harris said, "and just watch the beauty of it".