Jack Leads Warriors To 100-99 Comeback Win Over Wolves
Despite a strong start and a dominating advantage in the paint, the Wolves dropped a 100-99 decision to the Golden State Warriors on Sunday that was determined in the game’s final minutes.
“Yeah, it is disappointing,” Andrei Kirilenko said. “We feel like we could have finished this game with a little different result, but I guess Golden State was a little more focused at the end of the game.”
The Wolves kicked things off with one of their most exciting quarters all season. They capitalized on turnovers from Golden State, scoring 11 points off of seven chances. Minnesota built its 32-18 lead with give-and-gos, and-one plays and alley-oops, providing the Target Center crowd with plenty to cheer about.
Wolves vs. Warriors
Minnesota raced off to a big start in the post, outscoring Golden State 14-0 to begin the game. After one, Nikola Pekovic tallied 10 points in the first along with eight points and six rebounds from Derrick Williams.
Fresh off a 30-point game against San Antonio, Golden State’s Jarrett Jack poured in 11 points during the first quarter, shooting a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and keeping his team alive. He went on to score five more in the second to total 16 in the second half.
“Jarrett Jack showing a great, great ability these last few games,” Kirilenko said of the Golden State reserve. “Really playing on an All-Star level. He gave them a great spark right off the bench.”
Jack’s efforts along with solid play from Carl Landry [5-for-5, 12 points] and David Lee [10 points, six rebounds] helped orchestrate a Golden State comeback. Using a series of smaller runs, the Warriors trimmed a 14-point deficit to just three by the halftime break.
Coming out of the break, Golden State continued its steady improvement and finally earned a lead around the nine-minute mark. The Wolves regained control after a couple slick passes from Ricky Rubio and a pair of steals from Kirilenko paired with a cold shooting streak from the Warriors. The third quarter ended with the Wolves up five, 81-76.
Just as the first quarter started hot for the Wolves, the fourth quarter began ice-cold. Minnesota missed six straight shots to begin the final frame, allowing Golden State to climb back and stay within a basket. Then, with a minute to go, a Stephen Curry jumpshot gave Golden State an edge that they managed to hold onto until the end.
After Jack missed an 18-footer, the Wolves regained the ball down just one point. Choosing not to call a timeout, Adelman allowed Luke Ridnour to race down the court and put up a shot that clanked off the rim.
"The ball was tipped,” Adelman said. “Luke got it. You have to push it at that point. Sometimes you get a lot better opportunity if you do it that way. There was not much we could do."
The Wolves held a 62-36 scoring advantage in the paint on Sunday, lining up against a Warriors lineup that often focused on outside shooting. Andris Biedrins started for Golden State at center but played just 12 minutes, switching for Jack as coach Jackson placed David Lee at center. This also allowed bench forward Carl Landry to come in and capitalize on smaller matchups, as he racked up 19 points and nine rebounds.
“They obviously do some nice things with their guards because they shoot it so well,” Adelman commented, “and we made a couple mental mistakes if I remember. It opened it up for Carl [Landry] to be on the offensive glass against a guard."
Derrick Williams led the offensive attack for Minnesota, totaling 23 points and 12 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. Nikola Pekovic scored 21 down low, and Rubio had a very well-rounded night with 16 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds and six steals.
Jack had 23 points for Golden State, making five from long-range. David Lee played 40 minutes and held down the low post for the Warriors, totaling 22 points and 13 rebounds.
Leader of the Pack: Ricky Rubio
By the end of the first quarter, Rubio already had claimed four steals and dished out three assists, sparking the Wolves’ electric, up-and-down pace in a fantastic 12 minutes. Finishing with 16 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds and six steals, Rubio tallied his second straight 10x5x5x5 game. The six steals ties a career high for Rubio.
“We just have to get better,” Rubio said after the game. “We have to learn how to close games. We are in a rhythm, but then we let them get in the game.”
Play of the Game
There were several candidates for this honor that occurred in the first quarter, but one stood out among the rest. After Pekovic poked the ball loose on the defensive end near the 4:30 mark, Rubio picked it up and took a few steps before sending a rainbow lob pass from half-court. Near the paint, Williams was streaking back-door and elevated to finish with two hands. The Wolves took a 24-12 lead, and Target Center got on their feet.
“[Carl Landry has] really found his role, especially on that team. He could start on a lot of other teams, but he’s found his role. Shooting 8-for-9, 19 points, especially off the bench that’s a great night.”—Derrick Williams
The Wolves will practice on Monday and then fly out for a three-game road trip, heading to Phoenix, Los Angeles (Lakers) and Portland before returning home.