Player grades from Minnesota Timberwolves’ home win over Warriors

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 2: Shabazz Napier #13 of the Minnesota Timberwolves handles the ball against the Golden State Warriors. Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 2: Shabazz Napier #13 of the Minnesota Timberwolves handles the ball against the Golden State Warriors. Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves bounced back on Thursday night with a solid, nearly wire-to-wire win over the Golden State Warriors.

41. 99. 86. Final. 84

On Thursday night, the woefully shorthanded Minnesota Timberwolves hosted the woefully shorthanded Golden State Warriors.

This game was originally scheduled to be televised on NBA TV, but the two teams entered play with a combined record of 21-47 record, and the top two players for each team were out due to injury, not to mention the absence of a host of supporting players on each side.

The Wolves jumped out to a fast start, hanging 34 points on Golden State while only giving up 19 in the opening frame. By halftime, the Wolves had built a lead of 17 points behind Shabazz Napier, a strong start from Kelan Martin, and three made 3-pointers from rookie Naz Reid.

The Warriors pushed back in the second half, whittling the lead all the way down to eight by late in the fourth quarter. But Robert Covington and Napier each hit huge shots and the Wolves did just enough defensively to hold down the punchless, D’Angelo Russell-less Warriors.

Golden State shot just 3-of-20 from beyond the arc and 42.9 percent overall from the field, and the Wolves out-rebounded them by a 52-43 margin.

This victory was once again a function of playing harder than the other team and being led by veterans Napier and Covington, plus effective aggression from the several rookie and second-year players that the Wolves have in their rotation.

Player Grades

A. Shabazz Napier was yet again one of the two best players on the floor for the Wolves. This time around, it was 20 points on just nine shots, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range and 4-of-6 from the free throw line. He also had seven assists, three rebounds and two steals. Napier reentered the game in the fourth quarter after the Warriors pushed back, and Shabazz had a timely 3-pointer as the Wolves were finally able to put them away.. Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. SHABAZZ NAPIER

A. After attempting only four shots in Milwaukee on Wednesday, Robert Covington shot 8-of-15 overall and 4-of-11 from beyond the arc en route to 20 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals, two blocks and zero turnovers in 30 minutes. He was fantastic on both ends of the floor. Here’s hoping this is the version of RoCo that we see once Towns and Co. return to the court.. Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. ROBERT COVINGTON

Kelan Martin had a strong first half but struggled in the latter stages of the game. Ultimately, he had 12 points (4-12 FG, 1-5 3P, 3-3 FT), eight points and an assist and a team-best +24 plus-minus. Martin continues to rebound his possession well and perform well enough on defense to warrant a rotation spot moving forward.. Wing. Minnesota Timberwolves. KELAN MARTIN. B

B-. <a rel=. Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. JARRETT CULVER

B-. <a rel=. Center. Minnesota Timberwolves. GORGUI DIENG

Other Players

Reid had 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting and 3-of-6 from beyond the arc but missed all three free throw attempts in the final stages of the third quarter after being fouled on a 3-point attempt. He also had six rebounds, an assist and a block.

Josh Okogie had another solid game, with seven points, five rebounds, and three assists in 21 minutes off the bench. Keita Bates-Diop was also good, putting up nine points and four rebounds in 20 minutes.

Jordan McLaughin struggled, shooting 0-for-4 from the field and finishing with a plus-minus of -8 as the Warriors made their second-half run with him at point guard. He did have four assists and only one turnover in 14 minutes.

Jaylen Nowell was scoreless six minutes and Jordan Bell was scoreless in five minutes, although he did grab four rebounds.

Up Next

The Wolves will enjoy the next couple of days off before heading to Cleveland for a 6:30 p.m. tip-off on Sunday.