After a hard fought first half, the Warriors seized control in the third quarter and ran away with a 125-101 home victory over the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night. Klay Thompson led all scorers with six three-pointers and 28 points, 20 of which came in the decisive second half. Stephen Curry totaled 22 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, while Andre Iguodala started in place of the injured Kevin Durant and scored a season-high 11 points. With the win, Golden State improves to 9-3 on the season.
THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT THE THIRD QUARTER
It was a bit of an odd game, as both teams appeared a bit sluggish throughout the first half, over the course of which neither side generated a lead of greater than six points. However, upon resumption of the second half, Golden State quickly took the game over. Karl-Anthony Towns opened the third quarter with a three-point play to give Minnesota a slight two-point advantage, but following a Draymond Green free throw and Stephen Curry jumper, the Warriors immediately jumped back in front, where they would remain for the duration of the contest.
After Towns’ layup pulled Minnesota within 67-64 with 6:46 remaining in the third frame, Klay Thompson knocked down a three-pointer seven seconds later to complete a sequence in which he accounted for eight points in just over a minute of action. Taj Gibson’s dunk on the ensuing possession cut the deficit to four, but that’s as close as the Timberwolves would get for the rest of the night, as Thompson’s layup 26 seconds later ignited an 18-4 Warriors run over the next four minutes that would ultimately put the game out of reach.
After scoring 51 points in the first half, Golden State would go on to total 44 points in the third quarter alone. It was the Warriors’ fourth 40-point quarter of the season, and their 23rd since the start of last season, which is more than twice as many as any other team over that span.
OUT ON THE BREAK
One of the main reasons Golden State was able to break the game open in the third quarter was their dominance on the fast break. The Warriors outscored the Timberwolves 35-14 in fast break points in the game, including a 19-0 margin in the decisive third frame.
The Warriors topped the 120-point plateau for the third time in their last five games, but on Wednesday, they had to do so without the help of Kevin Durant, who missed the game with a left thigh contusion. Andre Iguodala took Durant’s place in the starting lineup, and rewarded Steve Kerr with a season-high 11 points. It was only the second time in the Kerr era that Iguodala started a regular season game.
When you’re without one of the most dominant scorers in the game, it’s going to require a team effort to get the job done, and that’s exactly what the Warriors got on Wednesday night. Six different players scored in double-figures, and another six each totaled at least three assists. Omri Casspi and Nick Young played a large role in particular, combining for 25 points, six assists, six steals and four three-pointers off the bench.
MARGIN OF VICTORY
Don’t look now, but the Warriors are rolling. Wednesday’s victory pushed Golden State’s winning streak to five games, and it’s not as if they’ve been close games either. It was the fourth time over the course of the winning streak that they won by a margin of 19 points or more. Overall, Golden State has outscored their opponents by 108 points, or 21.6 points per game during their current streak.
The Warriors are halfway through their homestand, meaning there are two more chances to see the Dubs before they head out on the road again. First up is a matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, which has an early tipoff of 5:30 p.m. Then, Golden State will close out their homestand on Monday, when they host the Orlando Magic on Stephen Curry Bobblehead Night. Find Tickets