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T-Wolves rally to take down Nuggets

C. Morgan Engel / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Minnesota Timberwolves overcame an NBA-record 15-point halftime deficit for a thrilling 98-90 Game 7 victory over the defending champion Denver Nuggets.

Before Sunday's affair, the largest deficit midway through a Game 7 that a team overcame was 11 points, per Basketball Reference.

Karl-Anthony Towns tallied 23 points and 12 boards to lead the T-Wolves to their first Western Conference final since 2004.

Meanwhile, Nikola Jokic added 34 points, 19 boards, and seven assists in the Nuggets' losing cause.

"I think this was just a real showing of Timberwolves basketball at its finest," Towns said postgame. "It's a team effort ... We don't have a Big Three, we got a Big 15. Every single person on this team means a lot to this team, and they help in so many different ways.

"This game just shows that the Timberwolves ... are a special team."

Denver took a 53-38 lead into halftime thanks to a strong 24-point effort from Jamal Murray. But the T-Wolves responded in the third quarter, ending the frame on a 28-9 scoring run to cut the deficit to one point.

It was all Minnesota over the final 12 minutes as they took the lead for good on a 3-pointer from Mike Conley with 9:26 remaining.

It's the first time in league history that two road teams were victorious in Game 7, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.

No reigning NBA champion has advanced past the second round in six consecutive seasons.

"I'm not an excuse maker. The better team won. So I'm taking nothing away from Minnesota," Nuggets head coach Michael Malone told reporters postgame. "But when you look at the fact that all the teams that are still playing, we played into June last year ... I think mentally, emotionally, physically, I think guys are gassed. They're dead tired."

The T-Wolves will now take on the Dallas Mavericks in the West final, beginning Wednesday in Minnesota at 8:30 p.m. ET.

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