Golden State too much for Wolves
MINNEAPOLIS — Blossoming Golden State superstar guard Stephen Curry struggled with his shot and with a hurting knee and foot Wednesday night, but backcourt mate Klay Thompson carried the Warriors to a 106-93 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Thompson, a shooting guard, scored 19 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter on a night when Curry hobbled off with a banged knee early in the third quarter and then left the game for good in the final minutes because of a bone bruise in his left foot.
No matter, because Thompson made just about everything Curry missed at Target Center.
Thompson sank seven of 10 shots in the fourth quarter — including five of six 3-pointers — after going just 4-for-11 for 11 points in the first three quarters.
His explosive finish pushed the Warriors’ lead from five late in the third quarter to as many as 18 in the final minutes as Golden State (4-1) pulled away from Minnesota (3-2).
Curry entered as the league’s leading 3-point shooter with 18 for a Golden State team that made 53 3-pointers in its first four games, the most ever by a NBA team in that short span. However, he went 0-for-3 from 3-point range, 2-for-8 from the field and scored just five points before leaving the game just two nights after he delivered his second career triple-double, against the 76ers in Philadelphia.
Forward Kevin Love led the Timberwolves with 25 points and 16 rebounds, and guard Kevin Martin scored 23.
The Wolves led 18-10 early, but their second unit gave it all back and then some by midway in the second quarter. The Warriors took the lead and control of the game with an 11-2 run that ended the first quarter and began the second.
Leading the way for Golden State were second-team forward Harrison Barnes, forward Jermaine O’Neal, center Marreese Speights and point guard Toney Douglas. They turned a 28-24 deficit late in the first into a 35-30 lead that they pushed to as many as seven points before the Wolves got within 50-47 by the half.
Warriors starters Thompson, guard Andre Iguodala and forward David Lee pushed the lead to as many as 11 points in the third quarter before Thompson grabbed the stage in the fourth.
Notes: Warriors second-year F Harrison Barnes made his season debut after missing the season’s first four games because of an inflamed toe. He practiced with the team Tuesday in Philadelphia and made his debut after coach Mark Jackson called him the proverbial game-time decision before Wednesday’s game. ... Wolves F Corey Brewer faced a Golden State team that changed his career course last summer. The Warriors upset Brewer’s 57-win Denver team in last spring’s playoffs first round, setting in motion events that brought a new GM and coach to the Nuggets and caused Brewer to sign with the Timberwolves and Andre Iguodala with the Warriors. “I had no idea,” Brewer said. “Kind of crazy, but I think it worked OK for everybody.” ... The Warriors can score with anybody, but Jackson is thinking bigger than that and he reiterated before Wednesday’s game that only defense will take his team where it wants to go. “You can rave about the other things,” he said, “but those are not the things that are going to put us in position to play to the point we want to play this year, as far as playoff basketball.”