The Golden State Warriors defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 109-104 on Sunday night, improving to 31-30 on the season and taking sole posession of the seventh seed in the tightly packed Western Conference. They are now a half game behind the Mavericks for the sixth seed and a game and a half behind the Suns and Clippers for the fourth and fifth seeds.
With Steph Curry, Andrew Wiggins, and Draymond Green all sidelined with injuries, the Warriors faced an uphill battle against the Wolves. Granted, Minnesota was missing Karl Anthony-Towns and Rudy Gobert as well.
Still, Minnesota’s replacement big man, Naz Reid, had the performance of his life on Friday night. Reid was 7-for-8 from the field in the first quarter with 18 points and finished the night with a career-high 30 points. He did more than score. Reid filled the box score with 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 steals, and 2 blocks across his 36 minutes of action. Reid led the Wolves to a double-digit lead early in the fourth quarter, but a stretch of turnovers propelled the Dubs on a 9-0 run that brought them within four.
The Timberwolves rebuilt a doublt-digit lead, but the Warriors began chipping away at it over the course of the second quarter. Every Warriors starter finished in double figures, and Kevon Looney was huge in the first half, scoring 10 points and grabbing 8 rebounds (he finished the game with 12 points and 17 boards).
A 5-0 run by Klay Thompson in the final minute of the first half gave the Warriors a 59-57 lead going into the half. That small spurt seemed to unlock Thompson’s offensive game. He scored 12 points in the first six minutes of the third quarter and helped Golden State keep up with the Timberwolves. However, the Dubs offense scored just two points in the final six minutes of the quarter, and Minnesota once again built an 11-point lead.
Without star performances from either of their top healthy scorers, the Wolves offense was unable to land a finishing blow against the Warriors. Thompson eventually stabilized the Warriors offensive attack once again, and this time, he got some more help from his teammates. Donte DiVincenzo scored 10 points in the final quarter, finishing with 21 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals.
DiVincenzo hit a three from the wing to give the Warriors a 102-99 lead with three minutes left in regulation. Then, after a pair of stops, Thompson hit a three to put the Dubs up six. Golden State should have been able to coast across the finish line, but several mental mistakes gave the Wolves opportunities to shoot their way back into the game. Luckily for them, Minnesota missed the shots.
The Warriors will remain at home for their next game, which is scheudled to start on Tuesday, February 28th, at 7:00 PM Pacific against the Portland Trail Blazers.