The Minnesota Timberwolves are chasing the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference standings, and on Wednesday night point guard Mo Williams made sure the Jazz kept their distance from the Wolves by draining a last-second three-point shot to beat the San Antonio Spurs, 99-96. The Timberwolves kept pace by knocking off the Denver Nuggets, 108-105.
Utah exploded for 31 points in the second quarter of the late primetime game on ESPN to build a 53-44 lead over the Spurs by halftime, but San Antonio chipped away and turned the contest into a nail biter. Tony Parker and Tim Duncan each scored 22 points to lead San Antonio, but Paul Millsap and Mo Williams took center stage in the deciding moments of the fourth quarter.
Williams (eight points on 3-9 shooting, four assists) didn't play a great game, but he received two chances to seal the victory and he made the most of the last seconds in the contest. Mike Prada of SB Nation provided some details on the odd crunch time performance from Williams:
A fantastic game that ended with Mo Williams making two very dumb decisions late and getting away with one on the game-winner. On the previous play, Williams and Paul Millsap ran a pick and roll to force the switch, but Williams decided to take the shot himself instead of giving it to Millsap at the free-throw line against Tony Parker. Williams' shot missed, but Millsap rebounded and called timeout, giving Williams one last chance to go all hero-ball on us.
Meanwhile, the Timberwolves held off the Nuggets for a nice home win. Kevin Love had a rough night (eight points, 3-17 FGs, 14 rebounds), but Andrei Kirilenko and Nikola Pekovic combined to score 40 points on 13-of-22 shooting and Pek added 11 rebounds (five offensive) to help lead Minnesota to a 108-105 win. Kenneth Faried (26 points, 14 rebounds) and Danilo Gallinari (24 points) led the way for the Nuggets.
Minnesota (10-9) trails Utah (13-10) by one game in the Western Conference standings.