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Wolves Take Down Warriors On National Stage

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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It wasn’t a win many predicted for the Wolves, but it was one they desperately needed.

In a primetime, nationally-televised game on Sunday, the Wolves took down the defending champion Warriors 109-103.

It marks the third time in three years the Wolves have taken down the Warriors. With the Warriors only losing 39 games over that stretch, that’s significant. The only other teams to beat the Warriors in each of the last three seasons are the Celtics and Nuggets.

It was a complete team effort from the Wolves on both ends of the court. Six players hit double digits for the Wolves and the Warriors shot just 40.7 percent from the field and 27.8 percent from the 3-point line, 12 percentage points below their season average.

As far as Western Conference implications go, this was a big one. The win moves the Wolves to 39-29, fifth in the West and 0.2 percentage points from the Pelicans for fourth place.

The Warriors fall to 51-16, a game back from first in the West.

Karl-Anthony Towns paced the Wolves with a team-high 31 points to go with 16 rebounds. Andrew Wiggins added 23 points and five rebounds while shooting 9-for-16 from the field and 2-for-4 from the 3-point line. Jamal Crawford led the bench with 12 points. Taj Gibson had an 11-point, 13-rebound double-double. Jeff Teague also got in the double-double action, finishing with 10 points, 10 assists and two steals. Nemanja Bjelica rounded things out with 10 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks.

Kevin Durant led Golden State with 39 points and 12 rebounds but shot just 11-for-32 from the field. Klay Thompson added 21 points and five assists. Zaza Pachulia led the bench with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Draymond Green added 10 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals.

Jimmy Butler (knee) was out for the Wolves while Steph Curry (ankle) was out for the Warriors.

Highlight of the Night:

With 8:40 left in the first quarter, Teague crossed over, stopped on a dime and threw up a shot over his shoulder while being fouled by JaVale McGee. The circus shot plus the made free throw tied the game at nine.

Numbers Game:

  • Derrick Rose became the 234th player to appear in a regular season game for the Wolves and the sixth to wear No. 25. The others: Bob Thornton, Marlon Maxey, Marc Jackson, Al Jefferson and Mo Williams.
  • The Wolves had 27 assists compared to the Warriors’ 22.
  • Wiggins now has 30 games this season with 20 or more points.
  • Towns has 29 double-doubles in the last 32 games.

Player of the Game:

Towns. The All-Star finished with 31 points, 16 rebounds and two assists while shooting 13-for-24 from the field and 2-for-5 from the 3-point line.

Green had no answer for Towns.

It was Towns’ league-leading 57th double-double of the season.

Up Next:

The Wolves hit the road to play the Wizards in Washington on Tuesday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. on Fox Sports North, NBATV and 830 WCCO.