2016-2017 NBA regular season: playoff’s round Golden State Warriors vs Minnesota Timberwolves (games-playoffs) March 10, 2017 at NBATV channel online @NBA 5:00 PM PT full replay, result and recap the full game will be available.
Wiggins comes up big to lift Wolves over Warriors, 103-102
MINNEAPOLIS — Stephen Curry got free for a clean look, and a record crowd at Target Center held its collective breath when he let it fly. Like it has so often during a remarkable slump for the game’s best shooter, the ball clanked off the rim again.
Like they have so often during a late-season surge toward playoff contention, the Minnesota Timberwolves walked off the court winners again.
Andrew Wiggins scored 20 of his 24 points in the second half and hit the go-ahead free throws with 12.8 seconds left to lift the Timberwolves to a 103-102 victory over the scuffling Golden State Warriors on Friday night.
Ricky Rubio had 17 points and 13 assists, and Karl-Anthony Towns scored 23 points to give the Timberwolves their sixth win in eight games as they try to chase down the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff race. They trail Denver by 2 1/2 games.
Klay Thompson scored 30 points for Golden State, but Curry’s struggles continued in the Warriors’ second straight loss and fourth in six games without injured star Kevin Durant. Curry scored 26 points, but was just 10 for 27 from the field and 1 for 8 from 3-point range. And he missed an 18-footer in the closing seconds that would have won the game.
“Whether we get the one seed or not, it’s about us just playing better, finding a rhythm down the stretch of the season,” Curry said. “And there’s enough games for us to do that.”
Wiggins missed a pair of free throws with 29 seconds left that would have given the Wolves a three-point lead. After Curry hit a floater for a 102-101 Golden State lead, Wiggins responded by calmly knocking down two in a row.
By Brian Hall, The Sports Xchange
MINNEAPOLIS — An injured team looking to get back on track will face another team surging up the standings in Minnesota.
Who could have guessed the Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves would be at this point in early March?
The Timberwolves host Golden State on Friday trying to prove their recent improvement is sustainable. The Warriors are trying to find their way again without injured star Kevin Durant in the lineup.
After handling the Los Angeles Clippers in a 107-91 win on Wednesday at home, Minnesota demonstrated its growth with young stars Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, and steadying point guard Ricky Rubio under coach Tom Thibodeau’s guidance.
“We feel like a team that’s playing with confidence,” Towns said. “I don’t know what a playoff team feels like, but my wild guess, I think that right now we are playing with the confidence, we’re playing with the demeanor of a playoff team.”
The Wolves have won seven of their past 11 games and Thibodeau’s defensive approach is starting to take hold in his first season with the team. Minnesota has held its past four opponents — Sacramento, Utah, San Antonio and Los Angeles — under 100 points.
According to the team’s public relations Twitter account, the Wolves’ 97.3 defensive rating since the All-Star break is the best in the NBA. They’ve allowed the second-fewest points per game in that span, as well as allowing the league’s lowest shooting percentage against at 42.4 percent.
The Clippers had 17 turnovers, shot 42.2 percent and were outrebounded 50-36 on Wednesday against Minnesota.
“We’re moving in the right direction,” Thibodeau said after the game. “The numbers will tell you that. We look at them every day. I believe we’re down to 13th now in points allowed. So that’s a quantum leap. It’s still not where it needs to be. We have to understand that.”
The recent stretch for the Wolves (26-37) have brought up conversations not heard in Minnesota in quite some time: reaching the playoffs. The Wolves, who haven’t made the postseason since 2004, ended Wednesday 2.5 games behind Denver in eighth place in the Western Conference.
The playoffs were never a question for Golden State, which had its sights set much higher after signing Durant in the offseason to join the core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
The Warriors (52-12) hold the top spot in the West, but have lost three of their past five games after losing at home to Boston, 99-86, on Wednesday.
“We’re in a tough spot in the schedule, obviously, and with KD’s injury,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. “Everybody goes through this at some point during the season. You just make your way through and let everybody else freak out and panic. You just keep your nose down and keep working, and things work out.”
There’s plenty left without Durant for the Warriors not to panic. Thompson had 25 points and Curry added 23 in Wednesday’s loss to Boston. In the three games Durant has missed, Curry has averaged 26 points and 7.0 assists per game. Thompson has averaged 22.3 points per game.
Of the three losses in the past five games, two were on the road at Washington and Chicago. Golden State had played five road games in a row before losing at home to Boston.
Final Box Score Result