Notebook: Warriors 96, Timberwolves 85



Posted Nov 25, 2012 2:01 AM

By Geoff Lepper, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Klay Thompson scored a season-high 24 points and Stephen Curry added 20 points with six assists as the Golden State Warriors beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 96-85 Saturday night. Carl Landry had 18 points and nine rebounds off the bench for the Warriors, who improved to 3-1 this season finishing up back-to-back sets. Golden State was 9-10 in that category last season. Rookie forward Harrison Barnes posted his third NBA double-double with 10 points and 11 boards.

One night after allowing 55 second-half points in a disappointing 102-91 loss at Denver, the Warriors held Minnesota to just 11 points in the fourth period, a season best for the franchise. The Timberwolves missed 11 of 15 shots in the quarter, and hit just 38.4 percent for the game. Kevin Love added 15 points and 15 rebounds for his third straight double-double since coming back from a broken right hand to start the season, but he couldn't keep Minnesota from losing for a fifth straight time. Nikola Pekovic had 17 points but suffered a mammoth facial from Barnes.

QUOTABLE: "We're 8-6 without our starting center [Andrew Bogut], without our sixth man [Brandon Rush], with a bunch of young guys that just flat-out compete. There's going to be some tough nights for us, I don't have to be a prophet to tell you that, but this team has something about it that refuses to let go of the rope."

-- Warriors coach Mark Jackson

THE STAT: Golden State's starting backcourt of Curry and Thompson outscored their opposite numbers with Minnesota -- Luke Ridnour and Malcolm Lee -- by a staggering 44-2 count.

TURNING POINT: The Warriors trailed 79-74 with 10:20 remaining after a Dante Cunningham layup before Golden State's defense tightened the screws on Minnesota, forcing the Timberwolves into a 7 1/2-minute stretch where the visitors were 1-for-9 from the floor with four turnovers. Meanwhile, Landry scored six of his 18 points to power a 19-2 run that left the Warriors leading 93-81 with 2:40 remaining.

GOOD MOVE: Despite Thompson's hot shooting, Jackson went with his defensive specialists in the fourth quarter, giving the bulk of his minutes to reserves Landry, Jarrett Jack and rookie Draymond Green. Landry keyed the Warriors offensively, but Green's work -- especially his tireless and successful banging against Love in the low block -- was critical to stifling Minnesota's offense down the stretch.

HOT: Continuing his resurgence from a wretched shooting slump to open the season, Thompson went 8-for-17 Saturday, and could have padded his point total if not for a 1-for-8 night behind the 3-point arc. He's a combined 24-for-48 in his last three contests after opening at 31.5 percent in Golden State's first 11 games.

QUOTABLE II: "It's good to see him shooting with confidence, being aggressive and not worrying about missing shots, because at the end of the day, he's not coming out for missing shots. That's not going to happen. He's too good of a shooter and obviously you can see the weapon that he adds to our offense."

-- Warriors' Mark Jackson on Klay Thompson

NOT: Jackson fretted before the game that Love would find his shooting touch against the Warriors. Instead, Love went 6-for-20 from the floor and seemed bothered by the protective brace he wore on his hand, eventually discarding it midway through the fourth quarter after missing on a pair of short jump hooks.

ROOKIE WATCH: With 2:25 remaining in the second quarter, Barnes cut down a wide-open lane, collected a pass from David Lee out of the low post and delivered a vicious right-handed windmill slam over the defenseless Pekovic. It ranked as possibly the franchise's best dunk since Baron Davis crammed over Andrei Kirilenko during Golden State's "We Believe" playoff run of 2007, and brought the house down on each of its multiple showings on the Oracle Arena scoreboard.

QUOTABLE III: "Oh my God! He dunked on his head!"

-- Warriors' Stephen Curry on Harrison Barnes' huge dunk on Nikola Pekovic.

NOTABLE: Minnesota's bench provided 40 of the Timberwolves' 85 points. Second-year forward Derrick Williams -- healthy but unused the Timberwolves' previous two games by coach Rick Adelman -- came back in the second half and responded with 10 points, two blocks and a steal. . . . This was Golden State's second win this season after trailing heading into the fourth quarter. The Warriors had dropped six straight games in that situation after a season-opening comeback at Phoenix.

UP NEXT: For the Warriors, Thursday vs. Denver, Saturday vs. Indiana, Monday vs. Orlando. For the Timberwolves, Tuesday @ Sacramento, Wednesday @ Clippers, Friday vs. Milwaukee.