Stephen Curry led the Dubs with 36 points, while Andrew Wiggins chipped in with 23 in his first game against his former team.
Head coach Steve Kerr changed the starting lineup, inserting Kevon Looney at center in favor of rookie James Wiseman.
The move paid immediate dividends.
Golden State took control of the game from the opening tip and never relinquished control. The Dubs went on a 14-4 run to the start game and never trailed throughout the entire 48 minutes.
The Warriors shot 57.1% over the first 12 minutes and held Minnesota to just 39.1% to take a 34-23 after the opening quarter. With Curry getting his customary rest through the first six minutes of the second, the bench unit did a job of keeping the Timberwolves at bay.
The Dubs had a 13-point lead at halftime and managed to keep the lead mostly in double-digits until the Wolves cut it to eight with less than seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter. That’s when Curry and Draymond Green returned to the court.
Curry scored eight-consecutive points and 15 total in three minutes to extend to put the game away, highlighted by this 3-point bomb:
Despite missing Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell, a shorthanded Minnesota squad played with a lot of effort but lacked the firepower to keep up with the Dubs.
Wiggins was impressive on both ends of the floor. He was attacking the rim on offense and took a majority of shots from inside the paint.
“I know he’s enjoying it and we’re enjoying having him here. He’s been a great addition to our team … most players are subject to circumstance, and I think we have a really good situation for Andrew,” Kerr said after the game. “It’s not easy being the number 1 pick and trying to carry a franchise … I just think Andrew’s in a good place, he’s doing everything we ask. Defensively he’s been fantastic, he’s a joy to coach … just a great addition to our team.”
On the defensive end, Wiggins was as active as I have seen him all season. He was in great position while in help and came up with three steals and three blocks. If he can bring this type of energy each night, it will go a long way in helping the Dubs reach their potential.
“The activity level is really key. I don’t know that it comes naturally to him,” Kerr said about Wiggins. “He’s obviously incredibly athletic, he’s got long limbs. I think he’s done a really good job of embracing the role that we asked of him.”
Golden State was a big favorite coming into this matchup, so it was nice to get a comfortable victory.
The Warriors have been inconsistent all season, but if they want to challenge for a playoff spot in the loaded Western Conference, they will have to continue beating teams like the Timberwolves.
The Dubs will play Minnesota again on Wednesday, travel to Phoenix to play the Suns on Thursday and then fly back home for a Saturday game against the lowly Detroit Pistons. In other words, the Warriors should at the very least be two games over .500 by Sunday.