The Golden State Warriors missed a tremendous opportunity to move up the Western Conference standings on Sunday night. Despite leading in the final minute of regulation, the Dubs fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves 99-96.
While both of the Splash Brothers struggled with efficiency (a combined 35 points on 13-for-40 from the field) all evening, Jordan Poole led the Warriors offensive attack with a game-high 27 points on 8-for-16 shooting from the field. Draymond Green (12 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 turnovers) was the only other Warrior to finish in double-figures.
The Warriors successfully slowed down the biggest scorers on the Timberwolves, holding Anthony Edwards and Karl Anthony-Towns to a combined 27 points on 10-for-30 from the field. However, backup big man Naz Reid was huge off the bench, scoring 23 points in 20 minutes of action. Kyle Anderson was also a key bench contributor, racking up 12 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, and 5 steals.
The Wolves controlled the game for the vast majority of the first half, but a strong finish to the second quarter put the Warriors ahead at the half. Minnesota retook the lead by the halfway point in the third quarter, but was never led by more than nine points during the second half.
With the door cracked open, the Warriors put themselves in the driver’s seat in the final minutes. Thompson knocked down a three to give Golden State a 92-91 lead with 2:47 left in regulation.
Just over a minute later, Towns made a deep three to give the Wolves a 94-93 lead. However, it lasted less than 20 seconds because Poole answered with a triple of his own.
Still leading 96-95 with 27.7 seconds left in regulation, the Warriors were in position to solidify the victory. However, a lazy pass from Green led to an Anderson steal. Going the other way, Towns pulled up in transition and knocked down a triple. With 9.9 seconds left on the clock, the Warriors were now trailing 98-96.
Intense defense from the Timberwolves on the subsequent in-bounds play put the Warriors out of sync. Poole overdribbled and misread a cut by Curry, throwing a bounce pass that landed out of bounds.
The Warriors got one more brief opportunity after Jaden McDaniels split his free throws on the other end, but a tough fadeaway corner three from Curry bounced off the front rim after time expired.
The Warriors will be back in action on Tuesday night, when they play host to the New Orleans Pelicans at 7:00 PM Pacific.