Leading by 10, Minnesota Timberwolves' guard Anthony Edwards drilled a long jumper to push their lead over the Denver Nuggets up to 96-84. Though nearly three full minutes were left on the clock, the Timberwolves likely believed that their 12-point lead was safe and that they could relax knowing that their franchise-long streak of never getting swept in the postseason was safe. They were wrong. The Timberwolves had scored their final point of regulation. The Nuggets were just getting started.
Three straight Denver 3-pointers cut the lead down to three. Nikola Jokic trimmed it to one with 48.2 seconds left, and a Michael Porter Jr. block gave Denver the ball and a chance to win. Jokic got fouled and made only one of his two looks, mercifully sending the game to overtime, where a similar scenario played out. Minnesota led 109-102 with 89 seconds left on the clock. Three quick Denver buckets cut that lead down to one. Only this time, the Timberwolves finished the job. With 11.1 seconds remaining, Edwards hit the game-sealing 3-pointer to clinch the victory for Minnesota.
It was the cherry on top of a historic game for Edwards. With 34 points in total, Edwards became only the second player ever to reach 30 points in five or more playoff games before his 22nd birthday, joining LeBron James on that illustrious list. No other Minnesota player scored even 20 points, but Edwards relentlessly atatcked the rim in a game-changing third quarter that the Timberwolves won by 10 points. It was the fulfillment of a promise Edwards made after Minnesota's Game 3 loss.
"This series is not over," Edwards said in the locker room following Game 3, according to The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski. "It's the first to four, not to three. I promise you it ain't over. Everyone's counting us out. It ain't over. I promise you."
Edwards more than held up his end of the bargain. The Timberwolves still have an uphill battle in front of them. They'll need to win three more games if they hope to advance, and two of them will be in Denver, where the Nuggets are 36-7 this season. The odds of Minnesota overcoming a 3-0 deficit to send the Nuggets home are slim, but if Sunday proved anything, it is that Edwards isn't going down without a fight.