By Jerry Feitelberg
Oakland- The Golden State Warriors beat the young and talented Minnesota Timberwolves Saturday night at the Oracle Arena by a score of 115-102. The Warriors played the game without Draymond Green and Ian Clark. Green and Clark suffered injuries on the same play Friday night in Los Angeles. Coach Steve Kerr said that when he told Draymond that he would not play, Draymond “did not fight me on it. If someone is banged up, we give him the night off, no matter who he is.” Kerr gave Kevon Looney the first start of his relatively short NBA career. Looney, in a career-high nineteen minutes of play, scored six points, had two assists and three rebounds. Without Green in the lineup, the Dubs had to find a way to defend the Wolves Big Three. Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, and Rookie-of-the-Year Karl-Anthony Towns are all just twenty-one years old, and these three can play basketball. Those three kept the Wolves in the game, but the Warriors prevailed. Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson led the Warriors in scoring. Durant was magnificent on defense as he had ten rebounds and a career-high six blocked shots. Steph had eight boards and six assists. Zaza Pachulia, Javon McGee, and David West all made their presence felt in the game.
The Warriors started the game well. They had a 21-13 lead until Minnesota went on a thirteen-three run. The first quarter ended with the Wolves leading 33-30. Karl-Anthony Towns (12), Andrew Wiggins(9), and Zach LaVine(9) scored thirty of the thirty-three Wolves’ points in the quarter. The Wolves were 62.5% from the floor. The Dubs weren’t bad as they shot 60%, but they trailed by three.
The Warriors’ and the Wolves were cold to start the second quarter. The Dubs went four minutes without scoring a point. The Timberwolves weren’t much better. They scored just three to take a 36-30 lead with eight minutes left. The Dubs behind Durant, Curry, Looney, and Pachulia managed to put Golden State in the lead. The Warrior defense shut down the Minnesota offense and the Dubs outscored them 26-25 to take an eight-point lead (56-48) at the half. KD(18), Steph(11), and Klay(11) were the high scorers for Golden State.
The Warriors increased the lead to seventeen at the end of three as Steph continued to make three-point shots. However, Minnesota came to life in the fourth quarter and closed the gap to eight but Steph, Klay, and Durant made clutch baskets when needed and they took down the Timberwolves 115-102.
Game Notes- The Warriors won their eleventh straight game to improve to 15-2. The Wolves fall to 5-11. Steph led the Dubs with 34 to go along with six assists and eight rebounds. Klay Thompson had twenty-three and six boards. Durant had a double-double with 28 points and ten rebounds. Durant had a career-high six blocked shots. The Warriors streak of ten consecutive games with 30 or more assists ended. The Dubs made just twenty-five in the contest. Zach LaVine led the Wolves with 31. Towns had 18 and Wiggins added 18.
The Warriors meet the Atlanta Hawks Monday night at the Oracle Arena at 7:30 pm.