What a game.
In one of what has been a pretty consistent stream of fun Wolves’ games to watch, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green (!) out-gunned Kevin Love and Co. at Oracle Arena on Monday night as Golden State defeated Minnesota, 130-120.
The game began with an insane barrage of long-balls, as Love drained his first four attempts from the three-point line en route to 16 points in under five minutes. Curry followed with four threes and a trio of free throws himself, and the shootout was on.
The Wolves built a quick 14-point lead shortly before the Curry Show began, and actually were able to build it back up to a 42-28 advantage by the end of the first quarter. In fact, they a lead for much of the game until midway through the final frame. Love cooled off considerably over the course of the rest of the contest, and after posting 22 first quarter points, he stood at 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists by halftime while Curry had poured in 23 points of his own.
Checking all of the Warriors shooting isn’t easy, but the Wolves did a largely passable job of this for much of the game. It was often on multiple rotations when the ball finally reached the likes of Green that the Warriors made the visitors pay. Klay Thompson shot just 2 of 12 from deep, and after starting the game 4 of 4 from long range, Curry finished 7 of 13 (still amazing, yes, but given the way he started, the Wolves couldn’t have felt too terribly about it). Green was 4 of 5 from beyond the arc, and absolutely killed the Wolves while putting up 20 points on 7 of 9 shooting from the floor.
And beyond Green, it was David Lee‘s second half that did the Wolves in. Love struggled to contain Lee one-on-one, and the Wolves were so concerned (and rightly so) with over-helping on the perimeter and showing hard on the pick-and-roll that Lee was able to shoot a crazy 12 of 14 on the night for 25 points, and the likes of Jermaine O’Neal and Mareese Speights combined to hoist 22 shots at the rim.
Ultimately, Love again missed another triple-double by one assist, finishing with 40 points, 14 rebounds, and 9 assists. He also turned the ball over 6 times and shot just 11 of 24 from the field in 36 minutes. All five starters for Minnesota scored in double figures, with Corey Brewer making hay on the fast break and shooting 10 of 13 from the floor en route to 22 points.
Ricky Rubio scored 15 points and added 8 assists, and Gorgui Dieng had yet another double-double with 14 points on 6 of 8 from the field, along with 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, and a steal in 35 minutes.
The Wolves would love to finish out the season with a 41-41, non-losing record, and they’ll need to beat the Utah Jazz back at Target Center on Wednesday night. Tip-off will be at 7:00 p.m.