Timberwolves snap NBA’s longest active playoff drought with play-in win over Nuggets@global | 12 abril, 2018 | 0 | General , Leisure and entertainment , Sport
It was win or go home between Denver and Minnesota on Wednesday.
Winner would advance to the playoffs; loser would be eliminated.
Four 12-minute quarters weren’t enough to determine the outcome. Overtime was needed.
The Timberwolves won, 112-106, and the Nuggets’ season is over.
Minnesota ended its streak of 13 consecutive seasons without making the playoffs, which was the longest active playoff drought and one season shy of tying the Los Angeles Clippers for longest playoff drought in NBA history.
The Nuggets became the third team since 2009 to miss the playoff with 46 victories, illustrating how deep the wild West was this season. Seeds 3-8 were undecided headed into the final day of the regular season, and the Timberwolves wound up with the No. 8 seed with the win.
It was just the third time under the current playoff format established in 1984 that the winning team of a game on the final day of the regular season advanced to the playoffs and losing team was eliminated. Washington beat Cleveland to advance to the playoffs in 1997, and Denver beat Sacramento in 1995.
Playing at home in a Game 7-like scenario, the Timberwolves, who wheezed to the finish line with the help of All-Star Jimmy Butler returning from an injury last week, won their final three games to reach the playoffs for the first time since advancing to the conference finals in 2004.
Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves with 26 points and 14 rebounds, and Butler added 31 points. Andrew Wiggins hit two clutch free throws in overtime to seal it.