The Denver Nuggets escaped with a 115-113 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, who stayed in the game due to Kevin Love's outstanding performance. Love scored a career-high 43 points in the loss, going 5-of-5 from beyond the arc. Love also added 17 rebounds (seven offensive). As a team, the T'Wolves outscored the Nuggets 38-27.
The Nuggets' answer to Love on Saturday night was Ty Lawson, who continues to start with Chauncey Billups sidelined by an injured wrist. Lawson scored 23 points, made nine assists and had three steals. He was second in scoring behind Carmelo Anthony, who scored 24 points. Anthony grabbed seven boards, made four assists and blocked three shots. Arron Afflalo chipped in 17 points, while Nene had a quiet night offensively (six points) but made six rebounds and had two steals.
The Nuggets received solid help off the bench from Al Harrington (15 points, four rebounds) and J.R. Smith 18 points, four rebounds, three assists).
In addition to Love's effort, Minnesota received a strong second half from Michael Beasley. Beasley had zero points on eight shots in the first half, but finished with 17 points, five rebounds, four assists and two blocks. He had a 42-point game earlier this season against the Sacramento Kings.
The Denver Nuggets are now 12- at home and 16-10 overall. They visit the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, Dec. 22 at 6:30 p.m. MT before a Christmas Day game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.