On the same day Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins were named starters in this year’s All-Star Game, they backed up their selections in excellent performances against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Warriors improved to 36-13 on the season after defeating the Wolves 124-115.
Golden State’s offense flowed beautifully and generated open threes all game long. The Warriors converted at a fantastic clip (58.3%). Even Curry, who has been in the worst shooting funk of his career, looked more confident and comfortable than usual. He finished 6-for-10 from three with 29 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals, highlighted by multiple shots off the dribble in transition that looked like quintessential Steph.
Despite their hot offensive start, though, the Dubs gave the Timberwolves a path to keep things close. The Warriors committed six turnovers in the first quarter and consistently sent Minnesota to the free-throw line. Despite Golden State shooting over 60% from three in the first quarter, the game was tied at 29.
The Warriors shooting cooled in the second but avoided the prolonged scoreless stretches that have plagued them in recent weeks. Still, Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns was dominant and carried Minnesota to a 61-57 halftime lead.
Perhaps Wiggins’ selection alongside Towns’ omission as an All-Star starter gave Towns a little extra motivation on Thursday against his former teammate. Towns is a matchup nightmare for any NBA team and thrived against the Warriors, who sorely missed Draymond Green defensively. Towns carried the Wolves in the first half, scoring 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field.
Minnesota might have been able to build a double-digit lead had anyone other than Towns found an offensive groove. However, D’Angelo Russell was just 3-for-10 from the field before he left the game with a left shin contusion and was ruled out at the half. In addition, Anthony Edwards started just 1-for-7 from the field.
The Warriors third-quarter dominance continued, outscoring Minnesota 38-20 in the period. Klay Thompson set the stage with back-to-back pull-up threes to start the quarter, but all of Golden State’s scorers got in on the action. Curry converted an and-one alongside two made threes. Poole attacked the rim, made four free throws, and made a deep three. Wiggins added a triple of his own and a bank shot.
Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, and Poole all carried the Dubs offense at times on Thursday. Thompson scored 23 points on 9-for-16 shooting with 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Poole led Golden State’s bench with 19 points, 3 rebounds, and 5 assists. On the same day as his controversial All-Star selection, Wiggins filled the stat sheet with 19 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, and 2 blocks on a highly efficient 7-for-13 from the field (5-for-8 from three).
Trailing 95-81 entering the fourth, the Timberwolves needed a run early in the quarter. Just when they needed it, Edwards led a 10-2 run to start the fourth. Just like that, it was a 6-point ballgame, and Warriors head coach Steve Kerr called timeout.
Golden State answered Minnesota’s run well. Curry and Poole each made tough jump shots to help extend the lead back to double-digits, but turnovers kept the Dubs from pulling away for a bit while Edwards finally found a rhythm, but back-to-back threes from the Splash Brothers extended the Warriors lead to 11 with four minutes to go, and Minnesota never responded. jord
Thursday’s game showed how unstoppable the Warriors’ offense can be. The perimeter potential of Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, and Poole is unmatched. When all four are making shots, as was the case against the Mavericks on Tuesday and again today, it requires a herculean effort to keep up. Towns finished with 31 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 assists, but it was not enough. Now, the Warriors will try to keep their offensive rhythm going on Saturday, January 29th when they host the Brooklyn Nets at 5:30 PM Pacific Standard Time.
Want to talk about the Warriors latest game? Want to defend Andrew Wiggins’ selection as an All-Star Game starter? Join our own Marc Delucchi over on Twitch while he talks Dubs.