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When defending NBA champion Denver arrived in Minnesota trailing the Timberwolves 2-0 in their Western Conference semifinal series, Nuggets coach Mike Malone showed his players a two-minute clip featuring several pundits nationwide who said his team was done and the series was a wrap. He also asked each player whether he believed.

The Nuggets flew home Sunday night with the best-of-seven series radically changed after they tied it with two resounding victories on the Wolves' home court. Game 5 is Tuesday night in Denver.

Somebody somewhere must have forgotten something.

"Rudy T. is right, never underestimate the heart of a champion," Malone said, referencing two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich. "They were quick to write us off. But these guys, they won a championship a year ago. You know what I mean? Went into Miami [in last year's NBA Finals] and won two games in a row. This team has been tested time and time again and found a way to solve whatever was thrown at us."

Last season, Denver won Games 3 and 4 in Miami to take a 3-1 series lead, then finished off the Heat in Game 5 at Denver.

"It's just like a laser-sharp focus," Nuggets power forward Aaron Gordon said about his team's championship-level play, "and a surgical execution."

Now it's a best-of-three series after the Wolves won the first two games in Denver with a crushing Game 2 victory. But the Nuggets have the home-court advantage back.

"This series is a long ways from being over," Malone said. "We're not celebrating. It's 2-2. Now you have to find a way to win Game 5. But what I've found about our group is they do believe. They believe in themselves, and more importantly, they believe in the man next to them. We have a group that is acting the way you'd hope a champion would act. They had a bad game, we owned it, and we moved past it and played better."

The Nuggets countered the first two games leading by 34 points and winning Game 3 at Target Center 117-90 and also taking Game 4, winning 115-107 after leading by double digits much of the game.

So what happened to home-court advantage in this series?

"It's gone," Wolves center Rudy Gobert said, lifting his clasped hands over his head and then releasing something with theatrical flair. "But we got another game and we'll have to go get it."

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The Nuggets received contributions from several players in Sunday night's victory. Gordon turned point guard as well as clutch shooter, making his first 10 shots and finishing 11-for-12 for 27 points. The Wolves' bench — considered their big advantage before the series began — was outscored by the Nuggets' bench 27-13.

Three-time league MVP Nikola Jokic delivered a 35-point, seven-rebound, seven-assist performance. Meanwhile, All-Star guard Jamal Murray scored a mere 19 points, but three of them came on a buzzer-beating heave from well beyond midcourt that finished an 8-0 run in only 20 seconds to end the second quarter.

The Wolves committed two careless turnovers in that short time in a finish Wolves coach Chris Finch called "inexcusable." Suddenly, a deficit the Wolves chopped to seven points at 56-49 was 15 points at 64-49 after Murray chucked his shot high and true. He then struck a pose right in front of TNT play-by-play man Kevin Harlan, who posed right back.

"We talked about that before the series, this team, they don't beat themselves," Wolves point guard Mike Conley said of the Nuggets. "They capitalize on every small mistake. At the end of the half, we had that seven-point swing, whatever it was, and that should never happen, especially in big games like this. We have to do better."

Anthony Edwards scored a career playoff-record 44 points but received little help.

The Game 5 winner Tuesday will advance if it wins Game 6 on Thursday at Target Center, too. The Wolves are 10-0 this season, including a victory in the playoff opener against Phoenix, after suffering a double-digit loss.

"I don't think anybody thought this series would be over by now," Conley said. "We're confident in our ability to win in Denver. We've done it before. We just have to remind ourselves it's not going to be easy by any means."