Home News Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert misses Game 2 in Denver

Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert misses Game 2 in Denver

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DENVER (AP) — The Minneosta Timberwolves were without center Rudy Gobert for Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal series against the reigning NBA champion Denver Nuggets on Monday night.

Gobert was back in Minneapolis, where his fiancee gave birth to the couple’s son early Monday.

Any thought of getting him back to Denver in time for the 10 p.m. EDT tipoff was scuttled by high winds in Colorado that disrupted air travel.

“There was definitely consideration … but the timing of his circumstances plus some weather made it really tough,” Wolves coach Chris Finch said. “And we didn’t feel like he was going to be able to get here and be prepared to play.”

Gobert played a crucial role in the Wolves’ 106-99 win in Game 1, roaming the paint and denying Aaron Gordon his usual diet of alley-oop dunks.

A rotation of Gobert, Karl-Anthony Towns and Naz Reid also hounded Nikola Jokic, the MVP favorite who committed an uncharacteristic seven turnovers and missed 14 shots in the opener.

Without Gobert, “obviously Kyle (Anderson) will get some time on” Jokic, Finch said. “Maybe we’ll have to do some different things. But it all begins and ends certainly with KAT first and foremost.”

Jamal Murray was listed as questionable for the Nuggets, but coach Michael Malone said he fully expected him to be in the starting lineup despite a strained left calf that’s bothered him for more than a week.

The Wolves are healthy save for their coach, who underwent right knee surgery last week after a sideline collision with point guard Mike Conley in Round 1 and is watching the action from a second row of seats on the Wolves’ bench. Assistant coach Micah Nori has been the one relaying instructions to players on the court and working the officials.

“It was a little weird. Last time I sat in the second row I was an assistant coach here in Denver,” Finch said. “But I kind of enjoyed that experience a little bit, got to stay out of the way of Malone’s wrath.

“But yeah, the most important thing is I felt protected, could communicate easily with the coaches, the players, could see the game, felt just as involved as I normally am except for obviously not up working the sideline, no interaction with the referees — which was probably a blessing,” Finch said. “And Micah did a phenomenal job. He’s really, really good at game management anyway.”

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

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