MINNEAPOLIS -- It wasn't the Minnesota Timberwolves' dominant defense that Anthony Edwards credited for his team's 115-70 shellacking of the Denver Nuggets in Game 6 on Thursday. It wasn't his ascendant offense either after Edwards led all scorers with 27 points and helped the Wolves outscore Denver by 43 in the 34 minutes he was on the court.

No, according to Edwards, it was simply the presence of Minnesota's 36-year-old point guard that made all the difference in the Wolves snapping a three-game losing streak in the Western Conference semifinals to force Game 7 on Sunday.


"We got Mike Conley back," Edwards said. "That was it."

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Conley, a 17-year veteran, missed Tuesday's Game 5 because of a sore right Achilles tendon. The Nuggets' defense responded by attacking Edwards with double-teams all night, and the Wolves missed Conley's ability to balance the court.

Conley had 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and no turnovers, but his impact was amplified by Minnesota's ability to deny Denver a chance to key in on Edwards.


Edwards struggled with 18 points on 5-for-15 shooting and 4 turnovers in Game 5.

The defensive performance that followed was staggering. The Wolves held Denver to 30.2% shooting overall, including 19.4% from 3. They won the rebounding battle 62-43, won the turnover battle 12-6, and scored 19 points off those turnovers. The 70 points the Nuggets mustered were a season low, including both the regular season and the playoffs, 10 points fewer than Denver's previous low when the Wolves clamped them down in Game 2. The 45-point margin of victory was the second largest in NBA history by a team facing elimination in a postseason game.

Karl-Anthony Towns (10 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists) was the primary defender on Jokic, and Edwards took it upon himself to shadow Murray.

The Wolves head into Sunday's Game 7 with a chance to reach the conference finals for the first time in 20 years.

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