The Warriors went on a 10-game winning streak, one of the franchise best. After that, they lost to the Brooklyn Nets, and these past few games have been sort of a reality check for them. Kevin Martin, who had had the hot hand all night, sunk the Warriors with a deep jump-shot from the left corner in the closing seconds.
Playing teams that pose a legitimate challenge, the Warriors have fallen from 24-13 to 26-18, not having the best run in the past games. They need to find some magic soon, but losing to the Minnesota Timberwolves by 1, with a score of 121-120, isn’t the result a playoff team should garner.
Statistically speaking, Minnesota is the least clutch team in the NBA. Before this game, the Wolves were 0-11, a league worst in games decided by 4 points or less. It seems suiting that the Warriors would fall to them in such a close game.
With a very arduous schedule ahead of them, the Warriors really needed this win tonight. On Sunday, they will face one of the hottest teams in the NBA in the Portland Trailblazers. Coming off of this loss, the Warriors make be shaken and feel unmotivated to win. With the kind of defense they played tonight, an excellent offensive team like Portland will eat them alive.
The Warriors and the Wolves were neck-a-neck in the first half of the game. Neither team played defense, and for some reason, the Warriors couldn’t seem to find their positioning. The Wolves were scoring in all sorts of different ways. Whichever team played better offensively speaking would, quite simply, get the win.
Things didn’t really get interesting until the 4th quarter. The Warriors led by 7 at the beginning, but found their lead slipping away, as the Wolves simply kept attacking. Ricky Rubio scored his first basket in the fourth quarter since December 16th. Again, this is suiting for the Warriors in the way that they lost tonight.
When the Dubs trailed by four with just 2 minutes remaining, a loss seemed inevitable. A couple of Andre Iguodala dunks as well as an and-1 3-point shot kept the Warriors in the game, however. A couple of Dre’s free throws broke the tie and the Warriors led by one point. He finished with 16 points. Coming down the floor with a 3-second difference between the shot and game clock was Martin, who found himself wide open, drilling the dagger with 8.4 seconds left.
Stephen Curry, who finished with 33 points and 15 assists scrambled for a little bit after that, but eventually made the right play, finding an open Harrison Barnes for the long jumper. He missed, at the buzzer, and the Warriors were sent home with broken hearts.
They now must prepare for their game against the Blazers, a team that has given them problems in Oracle before. Not only will this be a huge moral test for the Warriors, but it will also get them back on track if they win.