Photo credit: @warriors
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Golden State Warriors downed the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-99 at Oracle Arena Friday night. The two teams played a very close game for three quarters, but the Warriors’ defense, led by Draymond Green, shut the Timberwolves’ offense down in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
The Warriors got off to a good start early in the first quarter. They had the lead 19-8 with a little over four minutes played. The Warriors, behind, Kevin Durant, led 29-18 with about four minutes left in the period. The T-Wolves’ Andrew Wiggins, Jimmy Butler, and Josh Okogie finished the period on a 7-2 run to close the gap as they trailed the Warriors 36-32.
The two teams played a nip-and-tuck second quarter. The T-Wolves played superb defense, and they kept coming after the Warriors. They went on a 12-2 run to take the lead for the first time 44-42. Klay Thompson hit a 3, and the Warriors were ahead once more 47-46. The lead seesawed back and forth until late in the quarter. Steph Curry hit a 3-pointer, and the Warriors led 59-53. The T-Wolves fought back, and the first half ended with the Warriors up by three 61-58. Kevin Durant led the Warrior offense with 20. Thompson had 10 and Curry kicked in with 14. Jonas Jerebko tallied 7.
Taj Gibson had 10 for the T-Wolves. Andrew Wiggins added 7, Jimmy Butler 13, Karl-Anthony Town 10, and Josh Okogie had 12. The T-Wolves committed just 1 turnover in the first half. The Warriors had 7 turnovers.
In the third quarter, things did not go well for Golden State. Minnesota was able to control the tempo, and they did not commit any turnovers in the period. The Warriors seemed to be out of rhythm as the T-Wolves outscored them 29-22 to finish the quarter leading 87-83. The fans at Oracle were taken out of the game as the Warriors appeared to be going down to defeat.
However, teams have to play four quarters. The Warriors, behind Draymond Green’s superlative defensive play, shut down the T-Wolves’ offense in the fourth quarter. Klay Thompson hit two 3-pointers to propel the Warriors into the lead 91-89. The Warriors went on a 12-2 run to go up by six, 97-91, with 6:41 left to play. The Warriors showed the T-Wolves what an elite defense looked like as Green shut down Karl-Anthony Towns. Durant, Thompson, Andre Iguodala, and Alfonzo McKinnie all hounded the T-Wolves’ offense as they held them to just 12 points and the Warriors tallied 33 to win 116-99.
Game Notes and Stats: Kevin Durant led the Warriors with 33 points. He also pulled down 13 boards.
Green almost had a triple-double. He scored 9 points, had 9 boards and recorded 11 assists. His defensive play in the fourth quarter was the catalyst for the win over Minnesota.
Curry had 28 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists.
Jonas Jerebko had 7, and Alfonzo McKinnie, coming off the bench, had 8 points and 8 rebounds. He made two 3-point shots in 2 attempts and his 3-pointer in the fourth quarter helped seal the T-Wolves’ fate.
Andrew Wiggins led the T-Wolves with 22. Jimmy Butler had 21. Towns was held to just 3 points in the second half and 13 for the night. The big guy pulled down 11 rebounds. Okogie finished with 15, and Taj Gibson had 12.
The Warriors shot 48.9% from the floor and made 13 3s in 34 attempts. The T-Wolves also made 13 threes, but they took 45 shots to do it. The Warriors recorded 31 assists. The T-Wolves made 4 turnovers in the fourth quarter as the Warriors’ defense stifled their attack. The Warriors finished the night with 16.
The Warriors improved to 9-1 for the season, and Minnesota falls to 4-5.
Up Next: The Warriors have the weekend off as they resume play against the Memphis Grizzlies at Oracle Arena on Monday night. Game time is at 7:30 pm PT.