The craziest 20 seconds of game 4 that may have just saved the Nuggets season

Denver Nuggets v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game Four
Denver Nuggets v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game Four / David Berding/GettyImages

The Nuggets pulled out a massive 115-107 win over the Timberwolves in game 4 of their second-round NBA playoff series. From the outside looking in, it seemed like a comprehensive victory for Denver as they built up a double-digit lead at the start of the second quarter and never looked back from there.

But there was one sequence that defined this game and may have proven to be the difference in what ended up being just an eight-point victory for the Nuggets. The sequence I’m referring to occurred in the final half-minute of the first half.

The Timberwolves had withstood a haymaker from the Nuggets but had done a great job to fight back and get on their feet. They’d worked to get the lead down from 16 to 7 and appeared poised to go into the locker room with momentum.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hits a huge 3 to beat the shot clock

But then as the final 30 seconds started ticking away, all hell broke loose. First, in the halfcourt, Nikola Jokic made a great read and kicked a pass across the court to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope who drilled a three just before the shot clock expired. This pushed the Nuggets’ lead back up to 10 with just under 20 seconds remaining in the half.

Michael Porter Jr. fast break dunk

Despite the limited time, the Nuggets were far from done. Anthony Edwards brought the ball up for the Wolves and tried to dribble his way through a double team and attack the basket. But Ant lost the ball and Jokic was able to pick it up and fire it ahead of the pack for a runout dunk by Michael Porter Jr. with just 1.6 seconds left in the half.

Jamal Murray hits miraculous halfcourt heave at the buzzer

Yet, somehow the Nuggets still were not done. Nickeil Alexander-Walker fired a careless inbounds pass that was intercepted by Jamal Murray who caught the errant pass and heaved up a prayer from beyond half-court that drew nothing but net as the first-half buzzer sounded.

It was an incredible shot by Murray and an incredible crescendo to an 8-0 run in the final 20 seconds that bumped the Denver lead up to 15. They never looked back from there and held on to win… by exactly 8 points.

It was an amazing moment that should live on in Nuggets playoff lore. The moment was made even more iconic by the location of the play. Murray stole the ball and threw up his prayer right in front of the TNT broadcasters. He was staring at Kevin Harlan as Harlan was watching and reacting to the play in real time for a national audience.

Add this one to the Jamal Murray all-time playoff highlight reel, and add this run to the championship DVD if the Nuggets should go on to win another title. It was a brief moment, but one that’s importance can’t be overstated.