5 Standout statistics from Minnesota's Game 1 win

Minnesota Timberwolves v Denver Nuggets - Game One
Minnesota Timberwolves v Denver Nuggets - Game One / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages
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Despite not taking the hardwood for nearly a week, the Minnesota Timberwolves showed out in their first contest against the Denver Nuggets on Saturday. The Wolves won 106-99, behind a marquee performance from Anthony Edwards and stifling defense on Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.

After splitting the regular season series against the Nuggets, a hard-fought series felt inevitable. Led by Jokic, Denver orchestrates one of the most efficient offenses in all of basketball. Conversely, the Minnesota defense is nightmare fuel as a blend of length and athleticism wreaks havoc on opposing offenses.

The Nuggets' efficient offense was on full display in Game 1. Although Denver scored 99 points, they shot 46.7 percent from the floor, 41.9 percent from downtown, 80.0 percent from the charity stripe, and committed just 12 turnovers.

Just as the Nuggets' offense is efficient, the Wolves' defense is game-wrecking. The Wolves employed a defensive strategy where Karl-Anthony Towns matched up with Jokic and three-time Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert, patrolled the paint.

This strategy forced Jokic to commit seven turnovers and shoot an unremarkable 11-of-25 from the floor. Furthermore, the Denver big man failed to record a double-double for the first time since mid-March.

Before we dive too deep into the Wolves' impressive Game 1 victory, let's break down five standout statistics that led to Minnesota's first Conference Semifinals win in 20 years.

5. Timberwolves 71.1 second-half field goal percentage

After the first half, Minnesota trailed Denver 44-40. In the opening 24 minutes of action, the Wolves connected on just 16 of 44 field goal attempts. The Nuggets weren't much better, canning 16 of 40 attempts from the floor.

The second half looked vastly different. Denver shot 54.0 percent from the floor. However, the Timberwolves scorched the Nuggets' defense, scoring 66 points on a highly efficient 27-of-38 shooting clip.

Every Timberwolf sans Jaden McDaniels, who only attempted one shot in the second half, connected on more than half of their field goal attempts. Edwards shot 58.0 percent, Towns 83.0 percent, Naz Reid 88.0 percent and Mike Conley Jr. was the most efficient—shooting 100.0 percent in the second half.

The latter half of Game 1 proved to be the tipping point for the Timberwolves. After a back-and-forth affair for the majority of the evening, Edwards and Co. broke off an 18-7 run to distance themselves from the reigning champions. The catalyst of the run scored 10 of the Wolves' 18 points, but more on him on the next slide.