The Golden State Warriors Jonathan Kuminga (00) tries to reach in and get the ball while teammate Klay Thomson (11) watches at Chase Center in San Francisco on Sun Feb 26, 2023 (AP News photo)
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Golden State Warriors (31-30) found a way to down the Minnesota Timberwolves (31-32) Sunday night at the Chase Center Sunday night. The Warriors, still without Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins. Could Steve Kerr’s revamped lineup do it again?
The answer was yes. It wasn’t easy, but it was a win. The fans had to hold their collective breaths as the Warriors almost gave away the game in the last 30 seconds of the game. Their longtime star, Klay Thompson, had another terrific outing and, along with Donte DiVincenzo, led the Warriors to a 109-104 win on Sunday night.
The Timberwolves, without big men Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns, jumped off to an early 14-4 lead. Naz Reid led the Timberwolves attack. Reid poured in 24 points in the overtime win, 119-113, on February 1st. The Timberwolves point guard, D’Angelo Russell, also helped down the Warriors that night.
Russell was not in the lineup Sunday night as he was traded to the LA Lakers. Michael Conley was the new point guard. The Warriors started putting points on the board but finished the quarter trailing the Timberwolves 34-25.
Things changed in the second quarter. Jordan Poole and DiVincenzo led the Warriors rally. The Warriors defense slowed down the Minnesota offense. The Warriors won the quarter 34-23 to finish the first half with a slim two-point lead 59-57.
The Warriors had four players in double figures. Thompson paced the Warriors with 12. DiVincenzo had 11, and Jordan Poole and Kevon Looney had ten. Reid led the Wolves with 22.
The fans hoped the Warriors could continue to play as they did in the second period. That did not happen. The Timberwolves came out firing from behind the three-point arc. Minnesota made five threes early in the quarter. The Warriors did not wilt until late in the period.
The Warriors scored just two points in the last five minutes of the third quarter. They made one two-point bucket and missed 11 times in those five minutes. The Timberwolves outscored the Warriors 30-19 to finish the third quarter with a nine-point advantage, 87-78.
If the Warriors were to win, they had to play defense, stop committing turnovers, drive to the basket and get some free throws. They did all three. The Timberwolves increased the lead to ten, 94-84. The Warriors went on a 12-2 run to tie the game at 96. The Warriors continued to play well.
The Timberwolves went ahead 99-96. Anthony Lamb and DiVincenzo each connected on a three to give the Warriors the lead 103-99. Time was running out. Thompson made a three to put the Warriors in the driver’s seat 105-99. Looney made it 107-99.
The Timberwolves made a three to make it a five-point game, 107-102, with 44 seconds left. All the Warriors had to do was make a basket, and the win would be secured. The Timberwolves had other thoughts. Minnesota hit a three, and the possibility of tying the game and going to overtime was now possible.
24 seconds remained to be played. The Warriors had the ball. The Timberwolves’ defense forced the Warriors to turn the ball over twice. The Warriors could not inbound the ball. With eight seconds left, the Warriors finally got the ball to Thompson. The Timberwolves fouled him, and Thompson made two free throws to ice the win.
Game Notes: With the win, the Warriors are now 31-30. Minnesota is 31-32.
All five Warrior starters were in double figures. Thompson finished the night with 32 points. Thompson had five rebounds and four assists, and he made six threes. It was the first time in Thompson’s career that he had 25 or more points in two consecutive games. DiVincenzo had 21 points, eight rebounds, and five assists and made four threes/ Poole had 15, Jonathan Kuminga 13, and Looney added 12 points and 17 rebounds for a double-double.
The Timberwolves’ Reid had a career-high 30 points. Kyle Anderson had 12, Jaden McDaniels had 12, Anthony Edwards had 12, Nickiel Alexander-Walker 10, and Conley nine.
The Warriors host the Portland Trailblazers at the Chase Center Tuesday night. The game will start at 7 pm.