Wednesday was the last day for the 2017-18 NBA regular season. With 12 games running, most teams had either secured their position in the Playoffs or competing in the tanking tour de force.
But there was one game being played that meant everything, the matchup between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Denver Nuggets. Both teams needed to win this last match to make the Playoffs. This would be the third time since the NBA’s current 16-team format — which began in 1984 — that two teams needed this last win and met on the last day of the regular season.
Minnesota were ahead by as many as 10 points in the second quarter but just how this whole regular season has gone down, Denver would just not go away. Jamal Murray came up big for the Nuggets late in the game with an off-balance shot which tied the game at 101. Nikola Jokić then had a chance to help secure a Playoffs spot for the Nuggets, however Taj Gibson from Minnesota had other plans. Gibson created a huge steal from Jokić with less than 2 seconds remaining which sent the game into overtime.
The Timberwolves would end up winning the match 112-106. Jimmy Butler scored 31 points, Karl-Anthony Towns had 26 points and 14 rebounds, and the Wolves finally ended the NBA’s longest-running Playoff drought of 14 years.
The Wolves finally made it, but their challenge ahead just got incredibly tougher. Their first competitor in the Playoffs would be against the Houston Rockets, who had the best record in the league. I guess you have to be in it to win it, and for the Timberwolves, I’m sure they are happy with just that.
Catch you Monday.