Klay Thompson took over when the team needed him most, leading the way to a 106-93 Warriors win in Minnesota on Wednesday. Thompson scored 26 of his 30 points in the second half, including 13-straight for the Warriors during a critical fourth quarter stretch. David Lee also had a big night with 22 points and 15 rebounds and Harrison Barnes provided a lift off the bench with 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting in his season debut. After a slow start that saw them trail by as many as eight points, the Warriors got back into the game with defense and held the Timberwolves to 37.8 percent shooting, their fourth opponent in five games to shoot less than 40 percent. The win was the third straight for the Warriors, who continue their road trip in San Antonio on Friday.
On the win:
"It was a combination of teams missing shots but mostly our defense. We are making good teams work. It’s been a great spot for us."
On Curry's injury:
"It’s a tough, unfortunate injury. I have guys that I believe in. Versatility showed, Andre showed how important he is, comfortable and moving over handling the basketball and facilitating our offense. Hopefully stuff will be fine and we continue to march on."
On the bench's effort:
"I thought our bench was huge - scoring, rebounding and defending. Guys came in and gave great minutes and it was a thing of beauty. Harrison (Barnes) was very good for his first game, gave us scoring bunch of the bench made a huge pass to Moe for an open three. It was a good win for us, against a team that other than one night had been playing very, very well."
On Klay's shooting performance:
"Matter of time for that. I don’t think he played particularly well before that. It had nothing to do with his shooting. Challenged him at halftime and he is an incredible shooter and I think he had a spectacular second half."
On Harrison Barnes:
"He’s a scorer and I want him to be in attack mode. I don’t want him to be frustrated when he’s missing shots. But I want him to be in attack mode and he really was tonight and it shows how much better we can be with him coming in from on the bench."
On his tough shooting in the first half:
"You can’t worry about it. As a shooter you have to be a continuous player. Whether you make it or miss the last shot, you just can’t think about it. You’ve just got to let it fly."
On what triggers a scoring outburst like his fourth quarter:
"When you see three or four go in in a row, especially from the three-point line and you get an open look, you’re just in a certain flow. You just don’t even think about it, just let it go."
On what Mark Jackson told him at halftime:
"He just told me to wake up and that’s not the player he knows. And try to do it on both ends."
On his injury:
"It’s fine. I was going to try and force and get back out there but you’ve got to be smart long term about this being a nagging thing down the road. Especially when guys are playing well. That’s why we’re so deep. I’m back here in the locker room and we go on a huge run. It’s a good problem to have when you have so much talent. Everybody can step up at any given time."
On the bench:
"Our bench really took advantage of theirs tonight. I think they were shooting 60-something percent in the first quarter, and then in the second quarter the second group comes in and goes on a huge run and gets a lot of stops. They got good shots on the other end and gave us the lead back and then we come back in and try to capitalize on it."
On the bench tonight:
"Our bench did a great job tonight. Mo Speights, Jermaine O’Neal, Draymond Green. Guys came in and gave great minutes. Harrison Barnes coming back for us was huge. Our bench was one of the big reasons why we got this victory tonight on the road."
"We were down four or six when they came in, and when I got back in we were up six. They left their starters in longer than we did in the first half and our bench did a great job of decreasing their lead and giving us some momentum for the rest of the game."
On the Timberwolves:
"They were really gritty tonight. The Wolves, their strength inside between Pekovic and Love and some of their other guys, they’re very strong inside so they did a good job of being tough on the glass and finishing tough on the other end."
KEEP IT ROLLING
Fresh off an impressive all-around victory over the 76ers to open their four-game road trip, the Warriors continue on to Minnesota where they’ll take on the upstart Timberwolves. This will be the first of three meetings between the two teams this season, and Golden State will look to maintain their dominance within the matchup after sweeping all four contests last season.
LAST TIME OUT
The Warriors put on a show Monday night, earning their first road victory of the season with a 110-90 win over the 76ers. Stephen Curry led the way with a triple-double, the second of his career, notching 18 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds and five steals. Not to be outdone, Andre Iguodala scored a team-high 32 points (27 in the first half), including a career-high seven three-pointers. GAME RECAP
STARTING OFF RIGHT
Aside from a close loss to the Clippers on the back end of a back-to-back, the Warriors have opened the season in impressive fashion, and continue to raise expectations. The Warriors have built a lead of at least 27 points in each one of their victories, and have won each of their first three games to open the season by a margin of at least 10 points for the first time since 1989-90. Much of that success can be attributed to the play of star point guard Stephen Curry, who currently ranks second in the league with 9.8 assists per game. He also became just the second player in the NBA this season to achieve a triple-double in Monday’s win over Philadelphia, and joined Fat Lever as the only player with 18+ points, 10+ rebounds, 10+ assists, and 5+ steals in less than 30 minutes since steals began being recorded in 1973-74.
Mark Jackson may have said it best following Monday’s victory when he said, “There’s a lot of nights when [the box score] won’t reflect just how important he is to our basketball team.” That quote was in reference to the play of Andre Iguodala, and speaks directly to the reasons why Golden State acquired him in a three-team trade this summer. For instance, in the Warriors’ first two victories this season, Iguodala scored a combined 12 points, but was a +47 in those contests, speaking to his all-around impact on the game. However, it’s not as if he’s forgotten how to put the ball in the basket. In Monday’s blowout victory, Iguodala scored a team-high 32 points on 11-of-18 shooting, including a career-high seven three-pointers. Golden State already had a bevy of weapons prior to Iguodala’s arrival, and his performance in the early-going has only added to that arsenal.
MINNESOTA SCOUTING REPORT
Last season, the Timberwolves might have been headed for their first playoff berth in nine years before catastrophic injuries took their toll. Nonetheless Minnesota showed significant promise, and has continued to build on that momentum early-on in this season, streaking to a 3-1 record. Like many successful teams, the Timberwolves core is built around a strong post player in Kevin Love, and an exciting young phenom guard in Ricky Rubio. Fully healthy, Love has been utterly dominant in his first few games with averages of 26.5 points and 14.3 rebounds per game, which both rank second in the league. Meanwhile, Rubio looks to have fully recovered from a torn ACL, as he ranks third in the league with 9.0 assists and leads the NBA with 4.0 steals per game. The Love/Rubio connection is already one of the most formidable in the league, and the Warriors will need to focus on limiting their combined effectiveness if they hope to get out of Minnesota with their second-straight victory to begin this road trip.
GSW: Harrison Barnes (left foot inflammation) and Jermaine O'Neal (right foot contusion) are day-to-day. Festus Ezeli (right knee surgery) are out.