The Golden State Warriors were at it again Wednesday night. This time, they cooled off another hot team in the Minnesota Timberwolves, defeating them 106-93. The main story of the night, however, was not Klay Thompson’s 26 second-half points, Harrison Barnes’ glorious return, nor Andre Iguodala’s great ball-handling or even the fact that the Warriors forced their opponents to worse than 40 percent shooting again. The story of the night was Stephen Curry, heading to the locker room.
In the third quarter, Curry’s leg collapsed awkwardly after some physical play with Ricky Rubio. He was able to return to action a bit later, but left to the locker room with a bruise in his left foot. Stay tuned for more coverage.
In the first quarter, in an elite power forward matchup which David Lee dominated, the Warriors played aggressively and smartly, but struggled mightily to shoot the ball. They found themselves trailing the Wolves 18-6 just five minutes into the ballgame. With about six minutes left in the quarter, Barnes made his first appearance of the season and headed to the scoring table. He opened with some energy-boosting jump shots and scored an efficient eight points.
Despite the Warriors’ struggles to guard the Wolves on the inside, (20 of their 26 points), they found themselves trailing just 28-26.
The Warriors’ bench, seemingly led by Barnes, really clicked. The reserves were out there working hard, and Jermaine O’Neal was exhibiting his talent as a backup center, as Bogut got into some trouble. The bench had 15 of the Warriors’ 33 points and Thompson and Curry were struggling to shoot the ball. After a lot of hard work, the Warriors led the game 50-47 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Warriors’ offense really started to spark. At this time, Thompson had just four points. He scored seven in the third quarter, and led the Warriors to a quick 9-0 run. Every time the Wolves tried to strike back, the Warriors had an answer. A huge call came when Bogut committed his 5th foul, forcing him to sit the rest of the quarter. The Warriors managed behind Iguodala’s point guard skills and Barnes’ terrific efficiency off the bench.
In the fourth quarter, Thompson scored 19 points and connected on 5-of-6 3-point shots. With stats like that and an already solid lead, there’s no excuse to win. The Warriors expanded on their lead and took down yet another hot team to improve their record to 4-1.
Thompson finished with 30 points, two blocks, and a steal, Iguodala had 20 points and three steals, Lee had 22 points and 15 rebounds and Barnes had 14 points in 14 minutes.
Now, they face a huge challenge in San Antonio, a place where they have never won a regular season game in the Tim Duncan era. Don’t you think that they’re motivated?