DENVER -- It wasn't the prettiest of victories, but there aren't any style points in the playoffs. The only thing that matters are wins, and that's what the top-seeded Denver Nuggets walked away with Tuesday night.

After falling behind by as many as 15 points, their largest deficit of the Western Conference first-round series, the Nuggets slowly chipped away and held off the eighth-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves late for a 112-109 victory in Game 5.

Denver won the series 4-1 to advance to the conference semifinals, where it will take on the fourth-seeded Phoenix Suns, who knocked off the LA Clippers in Game 5 on Tuesday night. The Nuggets-Suns series starts on Saturday at Ball Arena.

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"To win a series, I don't care 8-seed, 1-seed, all that other B.S. -- to win a series in the playoffs is hard," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. "So I'm really proud of our guys."

Malone said the team played the first quarter like it was a regular-season game, but he credited Jamal Murray for getting things going. "I felt Jamal made a couple of shots, and Jamal plays with so much emotion, and I think he got our team going,"

Malone said. "And guys off the bench got our team going, and then the crowd got really into it, which is what we need."


Murray finished with 35 points, marking his seventh 35-point playoff game. In Nuggets playoff history, only Nikola Jokic (nine) has more.

Jokic became the fifth player in NBA history to have 25-15-10 in a clinching opportunity, joining LeBron James (2020), James Worthy (1988), Chamberlain (1967) and Oscar Robertson (1963), according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

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LOOK: 50 images of winning moments from sports history

Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.

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