The Golden State Warriors ran out of gas on the road against the Minnesota Timberwolves, 109-103. Karl Anthony-Towns was a monster in the paint, finishing with 31 points and 16 rebounds. Kevin Durant led valiantly, tallying 39 points and 12 rebounds, but shot a tough 11-of-32 from the field. Klay Thompson struggled his way to 21 points on 22 shots, and Draymond Green flirted with a triple-double (10 points/8 rebounds/ 7 assists).
Even Zaza Pachulia got into the action, finishing with a double-double (16 points and 11 rebounds) in an inspired 25 minutes. This was a matchup lacking some star power, as Minnesota didn’t have All-Star Jimmy Butler. In addition, the Warriors were missing Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, David West. Patrick McCaw, and Jordan Bell.
The match-up went completely see-saw in the early goings. The T’Wolves struck first with a 34-24 opening salvo in the first quarter, and it looked like the Dubs may not have been prepared for the early start time.
Defense the Warriors problem in that first quarter: Wolves shoot 15 of 23, spray around 12 assists, lead 34-24.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) March 11, 2018
The Warriors returned fire the next period as they normally do, uncorking a 38-21 quarter on a reeling Minnesota. The much maligned Pachulia bounced back from his rough outing in Portland, and got busy in the first half to the tune of 10 points and 6 rebounds on 5-of-5 shooting from the field. He plus/minus was +16 over the first two quarters, a surprising but much needed surge of output.
20-4 sprint to start 2nd Q for the @warriors!#DubNation 44 | #AllEyesNorth 38 on #NBAonABC pic.twitter.com/tK6DmlFsni— NBA (@NBA) March 11, 2018
At halftime, the Warriors led 62-55, surviving despite missing two members of their Death Squad. They only had five turnovers in the first half, and shot 7-of-16 from the three-point line.
Perhaps I jinxed them by praising their lack of turnovers at the half, because the champs promptly coughed up the rock five more times in the third quarter alone. This got the Timberwolves back in the game, and they would not go away easily, despite Durant carrying the load.
After 3 quarters of play this game is tied at 84.— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 11, 2018
Durant: 30 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Blk
The final quarter was a battle of attrition, as both teams were gassed and bricking. The pace slowed to a crawl, the missed jumpers for both teams barely hit the front of the rim, and I could damn near hear the players gasping for air.
Then “Big Kat” took over down the stretch for his home fans. He battled with Draymond Green, getting the best of the smaller defender. Anthony-Towns closed the game out with tough buckets around the rim, and bombs from distance.
Good defense, better offense.— Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) March 11, 2018
Cool as ice, @KarlTowns. #AllEyesNorth pic.twitter.com/ZXYa0rk0Y3
Both teams had to dig deep late, and the Timberwolves were more resolute when it counted most.
Minnesota fought like their playoff lives depended on it, and the Warriors couldn’t quite keep up in the very end.
Next up is a Wednesday tilt against the Los Angeles Lakers. It’d be nice to have the rest of our rotation back at some point!
Who was the Warrior Wonder for the loss against the TWolves?
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