Timberwolves make playoffs for first time in 14 years

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Timberwolves make playoffs for first time in 14 years

On the final night of the 2017-18 regular season, the Nuggets (46-35) take on the Timberwolves (46-35) for the final spot in the National Basketball Association playoffs.

The Nuggets will be looking for similar success after beating the Portland Trail Blazers in their last game, 88-82.

The Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves are, as we speak, sporting 46-35 records with one game to go in the season.

Denver reeled off their sixth straight win with a smashmouth win in a defensive struggle at Portland Monday night. The rest of the roster combined for 27 points among six players.

Replacement Jodie Meeks scored 18 points off the bench for the Washington Wizards in their 101-92 victory over the Orlando Magic. His streak of 246 consecutive games played, every contest of his career, is the longest current run in the league. After it was over, the veteran big man was hopeful that he would be all right for Wednesday's game against the Nuggets but admitted that he couldn't move his neck from left to right at the moment. The Spurs (47-35) are the seventh seed, and they will play second-seeded Golden State in the first round.

The Nuggets beat Minny 100-96 just last week and the Timberwolves - led by 12 Jimmy Butler points in the extra session - defeated Denver in overtime back in December. Gary Harris (17.6 points) and Jamal Murray (16.7 points) each are contributing offensively as well. The Timberwolves got an important win over the Grizzlies Monday to set up the showdown.

Will Barton has been a roller coaster as he has hit some key shots, including from the three point line. He's averaging 22 PTS, 5.3 REB, 4.9 AST, 2 STL and 0.4 BLK with 1.8 TO for the 2017-2018 season.

Denver ranks third in second chance points allowed per game (11.1) while Minnesota ranks 20th (12.9). Butler had 31 while Karl-Anthony Towns had 26 points and 14 rebounds.

The Timberwolves defeated the Nuggets 112-106 on Wednesday night with Jimmy Butler and Towns ruling the court on the night at the Target Center in Minneapolis for the now eighth-seeded Western Conference team.

Minnesota has an uphill battle ahead of them here. Their reward for finally getting back to the postseason, of course, is taking on a Rockets juggernaut led by the two-headed point guard monster of Harden and Chris Paul, a crew that has been demolishing the competition all season. He also had six points and 19 assists against the Grizzlies to finish the season with averages of 25.4 and 10.3, respectively, in those categories.

"That was another playoff game". It will be interesting to see how many minutes Thibodeau plays Butler for Wednesday night's must-win showdown against the Nuggets to get into the playoffs.

Actually, for Atlanta, Phoenix, Dallas and Charlotte, the end came in their season finales Tuesday. It was most odd to not see him on the floor for much of the third quarter, as Malone did not sub until the 3:25 mark, and all of overtime, as Malone went with the starting group until putting Mason Plumlee in the game for defensive reasons in the final seconds.

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