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DENVER – The Timberwolves might think they match up well against the Nuggets in a playoff series, and Denver might not be quite as deep a team as it was a year ago when it won the NBA championship.

But in the biggest game of the regular season, a game likely to determine the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, the Nuggets reminded the Wolves that they still are the defending champs — and that they have the best player in the league.

Nikola Jokic was unstoppable on his way to 41 points Wednesday night as the two-time league MVP led the Nuggets to a 116-107 victory over the Wolves to put Denver in the driver's seat to gain the No. 1 seed. Denver can now clinch the top seed by winning its last two games against two bottom-dwellers, San Antonio and Memphis. The Wolves are tied for the No. 2 seed with the Oklahoma City Thunder but hold the tiebreaker over them.

"We knew what this game was gonna determine," Wolves guard Anthony Edwards said. "So if we won it, we knew we was possibly be the No. 1 seed. If we lost it, we knew they was possibly gonna be.

"So at this point, I think we cared before, but now that we lost we can't do nothing about it."

Jokic shot 16-for-20 from the field and had 11 rebounds and seven assists. Jamal Murray added 20 points for Denver after missing the teams' previous matchup. Edwards led the Wolves with 25 points, while Mike Conley added 19.

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The Wolves' fourth-quarter offense dried up as Denver opened up a 16-point lead that caused coach Chris Finch to pull his starters with 2 minutes, 44 seconds to play. Outside of garbage time, the Wolves were 6-for-18 from the field in the fourth. Edwards took just three shots and missed them all as Denver sent two defenders his way most of the quarter.

"There's nowhere for me to go," Edwards said. "The guy's in the gap, so now I can't drive. So I just gotta get off of it, and I was doing it. We got good looks. We just missed 'em."

The Wolves couldn't take advantage of the open looks they did have. Naz Reid struggled for the Wolves, as he had 13 points on 6-for-19 shooting, 1-for-5 in the fourth.

Conley and Rudy Gobert both said fatigue played a role in the Wolves' lackluster fourth quarter while noting both teams were on a back-to-back Wednesday night.

"We have to play through it," said Gobert, who scored 13 points on 6-for-7 shooting. "There's going to be fatigue in the postseason too. We're going to have to find it deep inside. Each one of us is going to have to find it and going to have to do what it takes for the team to win, and tonight, when the fatigue hits us, sometimes we didn't make the best decisions out there."

BOXSCORE: Denver 116, Wolves 107

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Conley said the fatigue led to a lack of movement that prevented the Wolves from finding a rhythm and hitting their open shots.

"When we're not moving our bodies and moving with pace, we're an easy team to guard," Conley said.

Meanwhile, Jokic was anything but as he took over the game in the second half with a 15-point third quarter. The Nuggets led by just three after three quarters, however.

But the Wolves couldn't take advantage of the minutes Jokic didn't play early in the fourth, just like they didn't early in the second quarter, the other time Jokic rested. Denver won the minutes Jokic didn't play by four points.

"We just couldn't get enough [offense]," Finch said. "Their switching bothered us a little bit. We had been driving into a crowd. We had been good against switching, but tonight we looked slow and we looked sluggish."

Denver outscored the Wolves 21-8 at the end of the third quarter and in the opening minutes of the fourth. By the time Christian Braun put home two monster slams, the Nuggets had all but wrapped up the game and the No. 1 seed.

"I'd love to have the one seed, I'm not going to lie," Conley said. "But I also said that it don't matter what seed you got, you're going to play a dog in the first round."