Wearing a signed Anthony Edwards jersey as he strolled into Target Center prior to the Timberwolves do-or die game Thursday night, Ty Perelman remarked that he'd never seen the Wolves look better.

Perelman, 24, was nervous owing to the team's three-game losing streak in the playoff series against Denver, but he was holding out hope. Regardless of what happens this postseason, he said, he was feeling confident about the team going forward.

"It's nice finally in this state to get some kind of winning," Perelman said. "Meaningful basketball in May? It never happens."

Nearly all the Minnesota fans in and around Target Center were concerned about the possibility that the Wolves would get knocked out of the playoffs, but it didn't stop them from being at least cautiously optimistic that the team can pull it out against the Nuggets — especially after trouncing Denver 115-70 Thursday night.

Marcus Davis attended the game on his 32nd birthday, holding up a large sign showing fan favorite Naz Reid.

"I'm sick, I'm nervous, but Wolves in seven," Davis said, while his friend started howling in the background.

Aside from the game-related nerves, downtown Minneapolis was alive with fan camaraderie before Thursday's game. A brass band played tunes on one corner, while fans shot hoops with mini balls at Tom's Watch Bar. Near the arena entrance, fans who didn't know each other shared their personal strategies to beat the Nuggets.

The Timberwolves have not advanced this far in the playoffs in two decades. Despite that lack of success, Ashley Lawson said she wasn't surprised the team made it this year. She saw them play early in the season.

"They looked so great that I believed they were going to be this great and make it this far," she said.

Nick Bullerman said he believes he brought the Wolves the luck they needed to dismantle the Nuggets early in the game. He's been to seven games in the last two years and the Wolves have won every time, he said.

Bullerman's friend, Alex Awaijane, said he'd lost some confidence in the team after seeing the three straight losses. "It was lack of defense, lack of offense, and honestly I felt like Denver stepped up their game," Awaijane said.

However, Awaijane said he was confident the Timberwolves would have a strong defensive performance Thursday night because of the referees chosen for the game.

Putting aside their worries, fans said the team's success this year has had a positive impact on the Twin Cities and their morale. Perelman, who works for the Four Seasons Hotel in Minneapolis, said he's noticed how much more joy fans have had.

"Even just walking around the city and seeing jerseys on, it feels like everyone has an extra step, a little more excitement about being in it together," he said.