MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves never expected to let this one get away.
"We invented ways to lose," coach Flip Saunders said after the Timberwolves blew a 14-point lead and lost to the listless Denver Nuggets 99-98 Friday night.
Raef LaFrentz scored 30 points, including six 3-pointers and the game-winning layup with 3 seconds to play as the Nuggets won their second road game in as many nights.
Denver, 3-17 on the road before Thursday night's victory at Memphis, also got 18 points and a season-high 16 assists from Avery Johnson.
Minnesota dropped to 21-4 at home.
The loss was particularly disturbing for the Timberwolves, who had won two straight after a 2-6 stretch and appeared to be getting back on track despite losing point guard Terrell Brandon for the season because of a leg injury.
"It's extremely disappointing," Saunders said. "We showed no defensive discipline. We got what we deserved."
The Nuggets made 10 of 18 shots from 3-point range, including six in the third quarter as they rallied from a 64-50 deficit to get within three heading into the fourth period.
"The guys are playing well together," Denver coach Mike Evans said. "If you watch us now compared to a couple of weeks ago, we are really running the ball well."
Johnson, pressed into a starting roll for the second straight game because of Nick Van Exel's elbow injury, committed just one turnover.
"They're not asking me to do anything I can't do," Johnson said. "I'm feeling good."
After James Posey's dunk with 2:59 left tied it at 94, Anthony Peeler hit a jumper to put Minnesota back in front.
Johnson helped give the Nuggets their first lead since the first quarter when he hit LaFrentz for a layup that put Denver ahead 97-96 with 27.2 seconds to play.
Wally Szczerbiak scored on a baseline drive with 14.4 seconds left to put Minnesota back in front at 98-97, setting up LaFrentz's game-winner.
Voshon Lenard drove down the right side of the lane and passed across to LaFrentz, who scored easily.
Kevin Garnett's last-gasp turnaround jumper for Minnesota missed the rim.
"Voshon drove in, and my man (Garnett) left me," LaFrentz said. "Voshon just made a great play. I almost fumbled it."
Peeler led the Timberwolves with 24 points, and Garnett had 20 points and 14 rebounds.
Notes: Van Exel sat out his second straight game with inflammation in his left elbow. ... Evans said the chances of trading Van Exel, who has asked out of Denver, are "40-60." ... Minnesota forward Gary Trent sat out for the second straight game with a strained left hamstring. ... The Timberwolves gave away Kevin McHale bobblehead dolls. McHale is the team's vice president of basketball operations. ... Nuggets forward Ryan Bowen left late in the third quarter with a left leg injury and didn't return. X-rays were negative, and he is day-to-day.
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