Vikings’ Neighbor Did the Thing

Tweets for First
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Seventeen months ago, the Minnesota Vikings produced the largest comeback in NFL history. On Sunday night, the team’s neighbor and NBA counterpart, the Minnesota Timberwolves, fired up the largest halftime comeback in Game 7 history.

Vikings’ Neighbor Did the Thing

The hungry Timberwolves knocked off the NBA champion Denver Nuggets — against all odds — in a topsy-turvy game, where a vast faction of Minnesotans felt familiar disappointment seeping in during the 3rd Quarter. Minnesota trailed by 20 points with 10 minutes remaining in the 3rd Quarter, only to bank a 60-32 run on the road. The Wolves prevailed 98-90 in Game 7 after trailing by 15 at halftime and advanced to the Western Conference Finals, where they’ll meet the Dallas Mavericks.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

Meanwhile, Minnesota entered the contest as 4.5-point underdogs, and even the most die-hard fans believed the Wolves might be a year or two away from true contendership, mainly because Denver was no joke. Throughout the 2023 and 2024 playoffs, the Nuggets had a knack for toying with opponents in Quarters 1 and 2 before turning on the jets and becoming a buzzsaw in the 2nd Half.

The opposite occurred on Sunday night.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

Denver fell asleep midway through the 3rd Quarter while the Timberwolves’ defense returned to its regular season and 1st-Round playoff form, stifling the league’s MVP Nikola Jokic and his clutch running mate, Jamal Murray. Minnesota’s iconic sixth man Naz Reid — known for having his name tattooed on fans’ forearms — awoke and dominated the 4th Quarter. Defense-only Rudy Gobert, the team’s center and reigning Defensive Player of the Year, also hit this shot, which isn’t a mainstay of his toolkit, not by a longshot.

Of course, Anthony Edwards, Minnesota’s 22-year-old leader, did his fair share in the 4th Quarter, but that was after three quarterbacks of relative quiescence. Edwards shot for 6 for 24, a statistic considered generally awful in an elimination game.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

But it didn’t matter. Edwards turned on the gas when it counted the most, knocking down crunchtime buckets and locking down the aforementioned Murray in the 2nd Half. Jokic is a do-everything commodity in Denver; Murray is the closer. But he didn’t close anything against Minnesota on Sunday night.

Karl Anthony-Downs delivered 23 points and 12 rebounds, perhaps the game’s MVP.

Edwards said of the comeback, “It was tough, man, because I couldn’t find myself, my rhythm tonight. So, I just had to trust my teammates … I just had to make the right plays throughout the rest of the game. I did that, and my teammates made shots. Big shoutout to those guys.”

vikings
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

The Wolves open the Western Conference Finals on Wednesday night — with homecourt advantage — against the Dallas Mavericks, a club featuring Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. Minnesota is favored to reach the NBA Finals with a -150 moneyline. No men’s Minnesota sports franchise has reached a championship since 1991. Point guard Mike Conley was the only Timberwolves player alive when a men’s Minnesota sports team last reached any kind of championship. He was four.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

Share: