Warriors Outlast Wolves in Defensive Slugfest, Win 116-99.
Looking to extend their six-game winning streak, the Golden State Warriors (8-1) took on the Minnesota Timberwolves (4-4). The Warriors were just rolling over teams to start the year, while the Timberwolves were coming off of a game in which Derrick Rose scored a career-high 50 points. Stephen Curry was looking to not only guide his team to a win, but also continue to dominate and entrench his name in the MVP conversation. The Golden State Warriors went on to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-99.
The first quarter got started with a powerful lob from Stephen Curry to Damian Jones, and Taj Gibson got the Wolves started with a corner three. The Warriors were rolling early, they seemed like they were making everything, and they went 7/8 so they basically did make everything. Stephen and Kevin Durant both made acrobatic layups, Klay Thompson drilled a deep three and a midrange jumper, and Stephen Curry made his first three of the night. The Wolves weren’t getting much going outside of the three from Gibson, as they only made two more baskets: a three from Andrew Wiggins and a tough jumper from Jimmy Butler. Steph’s three forced a Minnesota timeout with 8:00 left in the quarter and the Warriors winning 16-8. Kevin Durant drilled his first three of the night to open the scoring after the stoppage, and he was magnificent early in the game. By the time the Wolves called timeout again KD was 6/6 with 13 points. The Warriors offense just looked incredible, they were making incredible passes (especially on one ridiculous possession that ended in a lob to Damian Jones), and they were just burning the Wolves all over the court. The Timberwolves were still hanging around though thanks to threes from Taj Gibson and Tyus Jones. When timeout was called with 4:11 left in the quarter the Warriors had a 29-18 lead. Karl-Anthony Towns got a flip shot to fall to open the scoring for the Wolves after the timeout, and that got the Wolves rolling to end the quarter. They went on a nice run to get the lead down from 11 points to four at the end of the quarter, and they did that by making threes and having the Warriors miss quite a few easy layups/bunnies. Kevin Durant was the game’s leading scorer in the first with 13 points on 6/8 shooting, and Taj Gibson led the Wolves with eight points. After the first quarter the Warriors had a 36-32 lead.
Draymond Green opened the scoring in the second quarter with a free throw, and Jonas Jerebko ended a three-minute long field goal drought for the Warriors with an and-1 layup off of a behind-the-back pass from Andre Iguodala. The Warriors were looking decent early, even if the lineup of Klay-Draymond-Andre-McKinnie-Jerebko was hands-down the weirdest this season, but eventually the Wolves figured that lineup out and went on a 9-2 run to cut the lead to one point. Josh Okogie kept driving and scoring for the Wolves and opened up shooters from beyond the arc. When the lead was cut to one point, Steve Kerr called timeout with 8:00 left in the half and the Warriors leading 44-43. Karl-Anthony Towns made a three to start the scoring after the stoppage to give the Wolves their largest lead of the night to that point (2 pts), but Klay made a three on the next possession to get the Warriors ahead again. Jimmy butler put the Wolves ahead with a jumper but KD hit a three from the top of the arc to put the Warriors ahead again. The two teams were just trading blows for the majority of the time between stoppages, but the Warriors came out ahead when the next timeout was called thanks to Kevin Durant, who was up to 18 points on 8/11 shooting. Timeout was called with 2:54 left in the half and the Warriors leading 54-53. Kevin Durant made free throws to start the scoring and Steph continued the scoring with his second three of the night. The two teams just continued to go back and forth, and the Timberwolves were playing great defense. At halftime the Warriors led the Timberwolves 61-58.
Kevin Durant was leading all scorers with 20 points on 8/12 shooting with five rebounds. Stephen Curry had 14 points on 5/11 shooting with five assists and three rebounds, he missed several layups and open shots in the half. Klay had 10 points on 4/8 shooting, Jonas Jerebko had seven points, and Damian Jones had six points. Draymond Green only had one point, but he had eight assists and was playing RIDICULOUS defense. As a team the Warriors shot 46.8% (22/47) from the field and 46.7% (7/15) from three. Jimmy Butler led the Timberwolves in scoring with 13 points, but four Wolves were in double figures. Butler (13), Josh Okogie (12), Karl-Anthony Towns (10), and Taj Gibson (10) all had at least 10 points. The Wolves combined to shoot 45.8% (22/48) from the field and 34.8% (8/23) from three. The main reason for the closeness of the score at halftime was because the Wolves only committed one turnover in the half while the Warriors committed seven of them, the Wolves had 13 points off those turnovers and the Warriors only had two.
Jimmy Butler made a tough fadeaway from the top of the key to start the scoring in the third quarter but Kevin Durant immediately dropped a three to get the Warriors going again. The Warriors weren’t playing very fast, and they were letting the Wolves hang around by getting open shots. While the Warriors extended their lead early in the quarter they allowed Andrew Wiggins to make a wide-open three after Taj Gibson threw down a dunk. The Wolves cut the lead to one point and Steve Kerr called timeout with 8:47 left in the quarter with the Warriors leading 69-98. Andrew Wiggins made a mid range wing jumper to give the Wolves the lead after the stoppage. Klay answered back with a mid range jumper in transition to put the Warriors ahead again, but Wiggins was still hot and nailed another three. The Timberwolves were just doing everything they could to control the tempo, force turnovers, and be a nuisance. The worst part of all that is that it appeared to be working. The Wolves were forcing an ungodly amount of turnovers and bad shots from the Warriors, and by the time they called timeout with 3:40 left in the half they had a four-point lead. The score was 78-74 at the stoppage and the Wolves had their largest lead of the night. Stephen Curry got a tough lefty layup to fall to start the scoring after the timeout, but the Wolves were still playing tough and responding to everything the Warriors tried. The Warriors would make a shot, the Wolves would make free throws and force a turnover, it happened on nearly every possession. Stephen Curry did nail his third three of the night and another tough layup, but the end of the quarter saw the Wolves maintain their four-point lead. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 26 points, Steph had 23, and the Warriors were shooting a combined 45.5% (30/66) from the floor and 39.1% (9/23) from three. Andrew Wiggins had 20 points to lead the Wolves while Jimmy Butler and Josh Okogie both had 15. The Wolves shot 42.3% (33/78) from the field and 35.3% (12/34) from three. After the third quarter, the Timberwolves had a 87-83 lead.
Klay Thompson nailed a mid range jumper to open the scoring in the fourth quarter, but Jimmy Butler answered back on the next possession with an easy dunk. Klay Thompson drilled his third three of the night, he then missed one on the next possession, but made his fourth on the possession after his miss. He brought the Warriors back to the light, got them the lead again, and forced the Wolves into a timeout. When timeout was called with 10:17 left, the Warriors led 91-89. Neither team scored for the next two minutes and timeout was called with 8:06 left and the score still 91-89. Draymond Green got a quick reverse layup to fall to open the scoring after the timeout, and his layup on the next possession was goaltended so the Warriors had a six-point lead. Jimmy Butler and Klay Thompson then exchanged baskets so the lead was still at six points, and Tom Thibodeau called timeout AGAIN. The stoppage came with 6:41 left in the quarter and the Warriors leading 97-91. Jimmy butler made a tough high-arcing shot to get the scoring started after the stoppage, but Andre Iguodala responded with a powerful dunk. Alfonzo McKinnie threw down a dunk in transition off of an Iguodala steal and the Warriors were up by eight. KD made two free throws to get the lead to 10 points, and McKinnie nailed a corner three on the next possession, and the Warriors 13-point lead forced a timeout with 4:15 left in the game. When timeout was called the Warriors led the Wolves 106-93. Kevin Durant got a running bank shot to fall to open the scoring again, and Tyus Jones answered with a three, but Kevin Durant got an and-1 layup to fall and put the game on ice. The Warriors used the lasts few minutes to add to their lead before the buzzer sounded. The Golden State Warriors beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-99
Kevin Durant finished as the game’s leading scorer, finishing with 33 points on 11/19 shooting while grabbing 13 rebounds. Stephen Curry finished with 29 points on 11/24 shooting with nine rebounds and seven assists, he also made five threes for the eighth ninth time this season. Klay Thompson got the Warriors started in the fourth quarter and finished with 22 points on 9/17 shooting. Draymond Green had a near-triple-double with nine points, nine rebounds, and 11 assists. He also was a forced to be reckoned with on defense all night, picking up a steal and three blocks. The Warriors bench was solid, McKinnie had eight points on 3/4 shooting, Jerebko had seven, and Andre Iguodala had eight assists off the bench. The Warriors finished the game shooting 48.9% (43/88) from the floor and 38.2% (13/34) from three. They grabbed a combined 61 rebounds and dished out 31 assists while committing 16 turnovers.
Andrew Wiggins had 22 points on 9/23 shooting to lead the Timberwolves, but was basically invisible in the fourth quarter. Jimmy Butler had 21 points on 10/23 shooting, but he went 0/8 from three. Josh Okogie had 15 points, Karl-Anthony Towns had the quietest 13 points I’ve ever seen, and Taj Gibson had 12 points. They finished the game shooting 37.6% (38/101) from the floor and 28.9% (13/45) from three. They grabbed a total of 39 rebounds, dished out 25 assists, and only committed five turnovers.
This game ended up being a massive grind-out win for the Warriors, and they didn’t even play particularly well. They looked human for the third time this season, and for the first time in about five game, but they still managed to beat a team that should *theoretically* be a playoff team. Stephen Curry had an off night, Andre Iguodala’s jump shots were missing worse than normal, Jerebko only went 2/7 instead of 5/6, and they struggled with turnovers. They still won the game though, and they are still undefeated at home and have won seven-straight games.
This Timberwolves team is weird, it is VERY clear that the only reason they are playoff contenders are because of Jimmy Butler. He is the driving force for that team, their engine, their undisputed alpha dog, but he wants to be traded and this situation is as awkward as it can be. Karl-Anthony Towns clearly doesn’t want to play another second with Butler, and that was shown tonight as he was the most invisible “superstar” that I’ve ever seen in an NBA game. I think this team is still a disaster waiting to happen, in fact that disaster should have happened already. I understand that they can’t trade Butler if they want to win, but the chemistry here is fucked up beyond belief.
This was a good win for the Warriors though, they appear to be more locked-in this season than they have been since the 2015-16 season.
The Warriors play next on Monday, November 5 at home against the Memphis Grizzlies at 7:30 p.m.