Did the Timberwolves beat the Warriors on Feb 1?

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves (27-26) entered January 2023 with a record of 16-21 and emerged from January 2023 with a record of 27-26. The team was able to post a record of 11-5 in the month, after struggling to win games to that point. So the question is, can the Minnesota Timberwolves keep winning? Or will the end of the month mean an end to that torrid winning streak?

It would not take long before fans would discover the answer. The Timberwolves welcomed the Golden State Warriors (26-24), not only a team that arrived riding a three-game winning streak but a team that is directly competing with the Timberwolves for an NBA Playoff berth. Worst of all, the Warriors are the type of team that gives the Timberwolves roster nightmares.

The Warriors play sound basketball. But their players excel at perimeter shooting, an area that the Timberwolves have only had sporadic success at mastering this season. But the Warriors are exactly the types of NBA team that stand in the way of the Timberwolves earning their second consecutive NBA Playoff berth.  So like it or not, this was an ideal test for the Timberwolves. Did they pass?

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Another Target Center OT thriller

The Timberwolves have played just three overtime games this season, and two of those three have been played the last two games at Target Center. Both the Sacramento Kings and the Golden State Warriors are teams with playoff aspirations this season, and the Minnesota Timberwolves have perfect opportunities to improve simply from the extended play against great competition.

The Timberwolves played this one without Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert, and Jordan McLaughlin, and yet sent this one into overtime. But it was not an easy task. The Timberwolves were able to compete with the Warriors as long as Steph Curry was not on the basketball court. But the Timberwolves entered the fourth quarter down by 11 points:

But Timberwolves G D’Angelo Russell got hot, scoring 14 of the team’s 28 points, and 14 of his own 29 points, in the fourth quarter to rally the Timberwolves back into this one. In fact, at one point the Timberwolves were down by 11 points with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game, and Russell hit the next eight points in the game, getting the team to within three points.  He scored on his next two three-pointers as well, as the Warriors were scoring on their field goals, to pull the team to within one.

The Timberwolves pulled ahead by the score of 110-108 with just under 2:00 left in the game before Warriors PG Steph Curry tied the game, sending it into overtime. But this time, the Timberwolves were ready. Taurean Prince sank a three-pointer, Naz Reid scored on a dunk, and Anthony Edwards scored twice in overtime to lead the Timberwolves to a win.

The victory starts off February 2023 on the right foot, as the Timberwolves’ backcourt of Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell combined for 56 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists. The Timberwolves will next host the Orlando Magic (20-32) at Target Center on Friday, February 3, 2023.

114. 41. 119. 86. Final/OT

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