Anthony Edwards grabbed Jaden McDaniels on the way back to the bench and wrapped his buddy in a hug. Both smiled.

Words didn't need to be spoken. The embrace told the appreciation that Edwards and every other member of the Timberwolves felt for what McDaniels brought to the Target Center court Thursday night.

"He's the X-factor of the team," Edwards said. "I think everybody knows when he plays well, we win. I don't know the percentages. I feel like when Jaden plays well, can't nobody beat us."

McDaniels and the Wolves made a strong case to support that belief by demolishing the Denver Nuggets 115-70 to push the series to a decisive Game 7.

On a night of many individual superlatives for the home team, McDaniels' imprint was the most significant.

He finally found his shooting touch with 21 points on only 10 field-goal attempts. He added four rebounds, two blocks and one steal in his standard defensive excellence.

When that version of McDaniels appears, the Wolves can overwhelm any opponent because he provides a different dimension to the offense beyond the primary scorers.

"When he gets 10 shots a game," coach Chris Finch said, "we've been pretty good."

McDaniels did not take 10 shots in any of the first five games, scoring just 35 points total in the series. The Nuggets left him open and basically dared him to shoot corner three-pointers. He was 2-for-12 from three-point range in the series going into Game 6.

Foul trouble and missed shots made him ineffective. His frustration became evident. His inconsistent shooting this season has been confounding. But when shots fall — as they did in Game 2 of the first-series vs. Phoenix, when McDaniels scored 25 points — his value as a two-way player gets amplified.

"I would say I get more confidence as the shots go in," he said. "It's just staying even-keel even if I miss a couple in a row. Just knowing that I'm capable of making shots. Just keeping that confidence instilled in myself."

He missed his first shot Thursday, but his three-pointer a minute later after a timeout steadied the Wolves after falling behind 9-2 in the first few minutes.

"We really needed to see that thing go down," Finch said.

The team needed it, and McDaniels needed it too. Any pent-up tension released, and he played aggressive after that, using his length and athleticism to attack the Denver defense.

McDaniels made three threes and also scored at the rim off drives to the basket.

"Everything came in the flow of the offense," Finch said. "He got a bunch of buckets in a lot of different ways, which for us, when that's happening with Jaden, we know we're playing the right way."

McDaniels' impact isn't solely dependent on offense. He scored only five points combined in the first two games of the series — both wins — but he registered a plus-40.

But when he scores, everything changes.

"He was incredible," center Rudy Gobert said. "And he did it every minute he was on the floor. He didn't get distracted, he made the right play offensively, knocked down some big shots. That's what we need. I love to watch him do the things that he's able to do."

Consistency is the key. Repeating it over and over and over. Or, more specifically, doing it Sunday in Game 7 when the stakes are at their highest.

"Just try and recreate this game we had," McDaniels said. "It's our last go-around with this team. Just try to show who the better team is."

If the Wolves' X-factor plays like he did in Game 6, their chances of being that team increase significantly.