After a tough loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday, the Warriors were able to avoid their first two-game losing streak in nearly a year with a close 109-104 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night in Minneapolis.
Rookie-of-the-year candidate Karl-Anthony Towns made another strong case for the ROTY award, as he and the young Timberwolves gave the defending champs everything they could handle only two days after the Warriors suffered only their seventh loss of the season.
Towns put up his 40th double-double of the season, dropping an impressive 24 points and grabbing 11 boards while his point guard Ricky Rubio pitched in a double-double of his own with 20 points and 11 assists to lead the 22-48 Timberwolves.
Despite a second straight night in which reigning MVP Steph Curry struggled from the floor (going 2-for-9 from three), the Warriors were able to grit their way to their 63 victory behind a stat-filling performance from swiss army knife forward Draymond Green.
The former Michigan State standout led the way for the Warriors with 24 points, 9 rebounds, six assists, 3 steals, and 3 blocks.
Klay Thompson poured in 17 points on a night that saw him miss all of his two-point field goals, but hit all five of his three-point field goals. Curry, as mentioned, struggled from the floor, missing 11 of his 17 shots, but was still able to contribute 19 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds.
Golden State was able to capitalize off 18 Minnesota turnovers which led to 23 points for the Warriors. The Timberwolves’ bench was also outscored 36-8, but still managed to stay close throughout the game behind their young star’s strong performances.
For the second game in a row, the Warriors were without their starting center Andrew Bogut (left foot), their NBA Finals’ MVP Andre Iguodala (left ankle) and Festus Ezili (left knee).
The Warriors are still ahead of the pace set by the 72-10 Chicago Bulls for the NBA’s best regular season record, but can’t afford any more hiccups and still have two games remaining against the Spurs team that beat them Saturday.
The Wolves put on a show for their first sellout crowd of the season and even provided white towels to everyone who attended. Wolves fans did their part cheering the home team throughout the whole game and providing a playoff feel as their young team battled gallantly with the top team in the league.
With the win, the Warriors move to 63-7 with 12 games remaining in the season and despite their historic setting start to the season, they only hold a three-game lead over the San Antonio Spurs who lost a surprising game on Monday night against the Charlotte Hornets who were able to comeback from scoring an NBA low 7 points in the first quarter behind Jeremy Lin’s 29 points.
The Warriors now go one to host a tough Los Angeles Clippers team on Wednesday night. The Clippers currently sit fourth in the Western conference and along with the Spurs and Thunder, are considered one of the few teams that have a fighting chance in a seven-game series against this year’s historic Golden State Warriors despite not winning a matchup against the Warriors yet this season, but that could change onvWednesday.
Minnesota will host the Sacramento Kings, who are coming off a solid win against the lowly New York Knicks, this Wednesday.
[AP Photo/Jim Mone]