The Golden State Warriors recorded their 10th win of the season on Wednesday in a 123-110 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. In an exciting game dominated by offense, the Warriors generated plenty of highlight-worthy plays. Here are the five best moments from the matchup:
5. Andrew Wiggins gets rolling early
Both offenses got going early, but it was not the usual suspects for Golden State. Jordan Poole was 1-for-5 from the field before Stephen Curry had even taken a shot. Instead, Andrew Wiggins seemed to have a little bit extra oompf facing off against his former team. He immediately started knocking in shots en route to a 22-point first half on 8-for-8 from the field.
Minnesota, on the other hand, had their leading scorer going. Last year’s top pick Anthony Edwards started 4-for-5 from the field while the Timberwolves dominated the offensive glass. Had Wiggins not gotten off to a hot start, Golden State could have quickly in a hole. Instead, the Warriors were led 17-13 halfway and finished the quarter up 31-28.
4. Stephen Curry’s no-look alley-oop to Gary Payton II
Besides Edwards, the Timberwolves struggled to score throughout the contest, including in the first quarter. Even with Edwards’ 16 first-quarter points, the Wolves finished the quarter shooting 39.3% from the field and 36.4% from three. The Dubs, on the other hand, had shot 57.1% from the field and 50% from three. The fact that Golden State only led by three left Minnesota an opportunity to strike back.
However, the Warriors responded with a 10-0 run to start the quarter. Curry and Otto Porter Jr. knocked in a three before a steal by Curry left him the opportunity to toss a lob up to Gary Payton II, who flew in to finish the alley-oop. Payton has been a highlight-making machine with Golden State this year. Maybe we can all watch him at the NBA Slam Dunk Contest later this season.
3. Jordan Poole’s clutch deep three
The Curry-to-Payton connection may have been more impressive, but Poole’s big-time three was far more critical towards securing the victory. While Golden State led for most of the game, the Timberwolves explosive offense, led by Edwards’ 48 points, prevented the Warriors from pulling their starters.
With Curry sitting to start the fourth quarter, the Wolves quickly mounted a comeback and cut the lead to five with 9:40 left in regulation. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr called timeout, and the Dubs responded with a fantastic play to set up Otto Porter Jr. for an open three. On the following possession, Poole knocked in the deep three to stretch the lead back to double-digits. The score was 101-90 and ensured Curry would reenter with a lead.
2. The finishing blow
Poole’s three bought the second unit some time, but the Wolves were able to close the lead once more, cutting it to five once again with 5:00 to go. However, as was the story of the game, the Warriors answered Minnesota’s run with a dominant stretch of their own.
Andre Iguodala found Kevon Looney for a dunk, starting a 13-3 run that finally iced the game. The final basket of the run was an incredible putback dunk by Wiggins over Karl-Anthony Towns. Wiggins led the Warriors to victory with 35 points on 14-for-19 shooting, four rebounds, and a pair of steals. It was incredibly fitting that Wiggins got to put the exclamation point on the victory.
1. The Poster
Sometimes a highlight does not need any context at all. Wiggins’ putback dunk was quite impressive, but his first finish over Karl-Anthony Towns was still the highlight of the night.