GameDay Live Blog: Wolves (3-1) vs. Warriors (3-1) | Nov. 6, 2013
GameDay Live Blog: Wolves (3-1) vs. Warriors (3-1)
Final: That's the ballgame. The Wolves fall to the Warriors 106-93 tonight at Target Center. Love led the way with 25 points, 16 rebounds and six assists. Martin had 23, Brewer had 18 and Pek had 10. For Golden State, Thompson finished with 30 points, Lee with 22, Iggy with 20 and Barnes with 14. More to come on Timberwolves.com so check back tonight. Right now we're off to Adelman's press conference and postgame interviews. GSW 106, MIN 93
Q4 3:29: More Thompson, not much Wolves. Minnesota can't find an answer for him here. He has 19 fourth-quarter points and is now shooting 11-of-21 (and 6-of-9 from 3) on the night. Minnesota down 14 with 3:29 left. GSW 104, MIN 90
Q4 6:53: Klay Thompson has 13 points this quarter, and we've got about 7 minutes left. He is currently 5-of-8 from the field this period, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range. That is all. GSW 94, MIN 81
Q4 9:49: Well, the Warriors are the second-best 3-point shooting team in the league for a reason. They struggled tonight, starting off 2-for-11, but they're 3-of-4 in the last 3 minutes and that includes a pair of 3s from Klay Thompson. Minnesota trails by 12--their largest deficit of the game--after looking like they were about to make their move. They're rolling with Barea, Martin, Williams, DC and Pek here with 9:49 to play. GSW 89, MIN 77
End Q3: The Wolves cut this lead to five thanks to a pair of hard-working baskets down low by Love, but Speights hit a 3 at the buzzer to push this one back to eight heading into the fourth. Love has 20 points, 14 rebounds and 6 assists heading into the fourth (triple-double watch???), while Martin has 19 and Brewer has 18. For the Warriors, Iggy has 20, Lee has 18, Barnes has 12 and Thompson has 11. Here we go... GSW 79, MIN 71
Q3 2:24: The Wolves climbed back to within three just a few minutes ago at 67-64, but the Warriors just went on an 8-0 run to push it back up to 11. The good news for the Wolves is that Bogut has five fouls, Lee has four and Thompson has three. But by shooting 36 percent, the Wolves have put themselves in a bit of a hole against this high-powered offense. Golden State continues to shoot 50 percent from the field despite being an uncharacteristic 2-of-11 from distance. GSW 75, MIN 64
Q3 8:48: The Warriors didn't hit a 3-pointer until Klay Thompson drained one at the 9:00 mark of the third. Golden State is now 1-for-9 from distance tonight but still have a 61-52 lead. The Wolves tied the game at 52, but Golden State responded with a 9-0 run. The Warriors have been building toward this all game--if they're going to make a run to push this out of reach, it is probably going to happen now. They have their largest lead of the game. Minnesota needs to respond, and that includes getting to the line and getting out in transition. GSW 61, MIN 52
Halftime: The Wolves are trailing 50-47 at the half led by 16 from Martin and 10 from both Love and Brewer. David Lee has 16 for the Warriors and Iguodala has 10. The Wolves are trailing despite getting 17-of-37 shooting from their starters (1-of-9 from their bench), and the Warriors shooting 0-for-8 from the 3-point line. That won't last in the second half, so the Wolves need to find a way to put together a little run here in the third. Meanwhile, Golden State is leading 30-24 in the paint and is leading 26-20 on the boards. GSW 50, MIN 47
Q2 2:38: Here come the Wolves. They cut the Warriors lead to 1 a few moments ago led by a 15-foot fast-break turnaround jumper (yes, a 15-foot fast-break turnaround jumper) by Kevin Martin and a nice feed from Ricky to Pek in the lane. The Warriors did stretch this lead back up to three, but the starters are putting together a nice show. They're 16-of-33 tonight. GSW 44, MIN 41
Q2 6:16: Golden State continues to hold momentum here and have outscored the Wolves 14-5 through the first half of the second quarter. The lone bright spot was K-Mart drawing a foul on Klay Thompson, and in the middle of hitting both those free throws he also got to shoot a tech foul on Thompson. That cut the deficit to 35-33, but since then Golden State scored five straight. The starting five is back in for Minnesota. GSW 40, MIN 33
Q2 8:21: The Warriors just went on a 7-2 run here to start the quarter as the Wolves' bench continues to struggle. They're a combined 1-for-7 tonight with the lone basket coming from Dante Cunningham. The Warriors' bench is 5-for-11 with 15 points so far led by Barnes' 10. The teams are tied 20-20 in points in the paint, but Golden State is leading 7-2 in second chance points. GSW 33, MIN 30
End Q1: The Wolves take a 28-26 lead into the second quarter led by Martin's nine, eight and six from Love, six from Brewer and three from Rubio. The Warriors have eight from David Lee on 3-of-4 shooting plus eight from Harrison Barnes off the bench, who played his first five minutes of the season after returning from a foot injury. He's been a spark plug, 3-of-4 on the night to start off his season. MIN 28, GSW 26
Q1 2:48: Did I mention Love is rolling right now? He's got 8 and 6 late in the first, and he just hit Brewer under the basket with a behind-the-back bounce pass. Very Ricky-like. Brewer has six, K-Mart has 5 (including a long 3) and Ricky has three. Pek has two. Right now, Curry is 1-for-4 with two points. The Wolves need to take advantage of these stretches where Curry and Thompson are not hitting their shots, because that will come. MIN 24, GSW 20
Q1 5:33: I hope you didn't blink during the first quarter or you might have missed K-Love's 6 points and four boards in the first six minutes. Love is on a roll right now--his shot looks so fluid and he's always such a beast on the boards. He's 3-of-5 tonight from the field. Meanwhile, Ricky is being aggressive and forcing the issue getting to the basket. The result so far has been dishes to his teammates in the lane and a nice basket and-1. All five Wolves starters have scored and they're shooting 50 percent. Golden State is shooting 50 percent, too, led by Lee's 6. MIN 18, GSW 14
Warriors: PG-Stephen Curry, SG-Klay Thompson, SF-Andre Iguodala, PF-David Lee, C-Andrew Bogut
Wolves: PG-Ricky Rubio, SG-Kevin Martin, SF-Corey Brewer, PF-Kevin Love, C-Nikola Pekovic
Pregame 6:15 PM: Well we know one thing heading into tonight: The Wolves and Warriors will both have their hands full—that's the message from both Rick Adelman and Mark Jackson, anyway. You feel the level of respect each side has for the opponent in their pregame conversations with the media. Both teams can score like crazy, and if either team has a down game when it comes to field goal percentage, this could turn into a long night.
The key for the Wolves is ball movement and pounding the ball inside offensively. On defense, it's trying to make the Warriors uncomfortable in their shot selection. And given Golden State makes itself right at home on the offensive end every night, that isn't an easy task.
"You can't always dictate everything," Adelman said. "When you do a game plan and you start looking at the other team and everything else, everything looks good on paper. And then you get out on the court and things change. They're very good players. The reason they can score is they have to do a lot of different abilities. What you have to do is try and take them out of their comfort zone and go to another option. That's easier said than done."
Adelman said the Warriors' biggest indicator for success is their point differential. They are leading the league with a plus-12.8 differential. Minnesota is tied for third with a plus-8.0.
In other pregame notes, Adelman said Ronny Turiaf is still a ways out in returning to action. The tell-tale sign of health is when the elbow can rotate, and it isn't rotating yet. Also, Adelman said the Wolves need to get Alexey Shved going. It's only four games, but he hasn't had a stellar start to his sophomore season here with the team. So far, he's shooting 23.1 percent and averaging 3.5 points per game. Finally I will be on 830 WCCO-AM at about 6:40 p.m. tonight for the first time this season talking about the game and the upcoming features on Timberwolves.com. More to come as we get closer to tipoff.
Pregame 4:00 PM: A couple of updates from the Warriors' camp. One, Harrison Barnes is a gametime decision tonight. He's missed the Warriors' first four games with a foot injury, but Warriors coach Mark Jackson said he's feeling fine and hasn't had lingering effects. But even if he does play tonight, don't expect the minutes to be normal: "Either way, it won't be anything crazy."
Jackson said he doesn't hope for a high-scoring game, even though both teams are in the top 5 in points per game in the league at 105 and over. He's preaching defense, so even though he said it's going to be a challenge against the Timberwolves, he's confident the defensive foundation was built to sustain against offensive-minded opponents.
"The funny thing is [the Wolves], you know in the past, they've been the team that's, you looked up and they've been up double digits and in total control of the game. We don't want that," Jackson said. "We understand who we are. That being said, this is a team that if you make mistakes, if you don't get back in transition, they are going to find their way. You'll find yourself in the same exact hole no matter how much better you got."
On the flip side, the Warriors are confident in their offensive abilities—in large part because they have a combination in their back court that is explosive from outside. Stephen Curry (272) and Klay Thompson (211) set the NBA record for a duo with 483 3-pointers last year. They averaged 3.5 and 2.6 threes per game, respectively. The Wolves, as a team, averaged 5.4 a year ago.
Jackson understands the historical significance of what Curry is doing in the league.
"Steph is one of the all-time great shooters," Jackson said.
For Curry, he said he's blessed to be in a situation with the Warriors that allows for his game to flourish.
"I play for a coach that really believes in what I can do on the floor," Curry said. "And put good teammates around me—we've put ourselves in good position so far this year.
Pregame 3:30 PM: Welcome to Target Center as we get set for a pretty intriguing matchup between the Wolves and Warriors. Tonight’s 7 p.m. tipoff on Fox Sports North and 830 WCCO-AM is an early season matchup of two teams with high aspirations for this season, and for each team to realize those expectations, they need to win games like tonight. I know it’s only five games into the season, but these types of games—especially on your home court—add up in April. Minnesota has a lot to play for against a really difficult and talented Golden State team tonight.
The Wolves opened up 3-0 for the second time in franchise history (2001-02) before falling to Cleveland on Monday in a game that featured a near 23-point comeback that came up one point short. They’re facing a Warriors team that has beaten them six straight times and in six of the seven meetings since Rick Adelman took over in 2011. Last year, Minnesota went 0-4 against the Warriors as Golden State eventually earned the sixth seed in the West, upset the Nuggets in the first round and became the darling of the Western Conference postseason.
Tonight is another game that can help Minnesota solidify itself early as a team that could cause a stir themselves in the Western Conference. But for the Wolves—and rightfully so—the mindset is tonight is just another game.
“Every home game is an important game,” Brewer said. “Tonight we have to come out and get this game no matter what.”
But this is a two-way street. The Warriors and Wolves are two of six teams in the West with 3-1 records right now, and they both got to that point by scoring. A lot. Minnesota averages 105.3 points per game, and Golden State averages 112.0 per night. Both teams are top 5 in the league in that category.
They overlap with their transition play. Golden State is second in the league with 22.5 points per game on the fast break, and the Wolves are third at 22.0 points per night. And both are top 4 in the league in first quarter scoring (Minnesota is No. 1 with 33.8, Golden State fourth at 28.8).
Where Golden State differs is their 3-point efficiency. They’re tops in the league with a 50.3 percent shooting percentage and second in the league with a 46.9 percent 3-point percentage (they are tops in the league at 13.2 3-pointers per game). If the Wolves are able to combat that tonight by forcing Golden State to put the ball on the floor, that could help Minnesota keep Golden State from getting hot from the outside.
“They can score,” Ricky Rubio said. “They are great scorers with high percentage, and we just have to be ready for that.”
Brewer added that everyone talks about Golden State’s scoring, but the Wolves have some fire power, too. Warriors coach Mark Jackson agreed.
“Superstar in Kevin Love, team is playing with a lot of confidence and a healthy Rubio,” Jackson said. “Martin obviously gives them a scoring punch…I think J.J. Barea is having an impact coming in the game off the bench. So this is a team where we’re going to have our work cut out for us.”
Much more coming tonight on the blog, but here are a few news and notes before