Kevin Love has been an offensive force this season, however when he goes off for 40 or more points in a game this season, the Timberwolves are just 1-5. This is Minnesota's second-straight loss and Love's second-straight 40+ point outing.
Love came into tonight's game just 36 points shy of Kevin Garnett's franchise record for the single season scoring record. With 40 points in tonight's loss, Love is now in possession of yet another Wolves record with 1,991 points this season. He'll have a chance to surpass 2,000 points scored in Minnesota's season finale vs. Utah on Wednesday.
Love was especially impressive in the first quarter where he scored 16 of his 40 points and shot 7-for-10 from the field along with 8 rebounds & 4 assists. Love finished just one assist shy of another triple-double: 40 points, 14 rebounds & 9 assists.
With no Andrew Bogut (fractured rib) or Andre Iguodala (knee), the Warriors were without their defensive identity, that is directly correlated in the final score, with Golden State allowing Minnesota to score 120 on the night.
Minnesota's always terrible defense coupled with their inability to score in clutch moments has doomed the Wolves all year long. Tonight was another prime example. You aren't going to win many close games with a unit of Love, Rubio, Brewer, Martin & Dieng on the court; with that lineup, the only person who is daring to put up shots is Love and every opponent in the League knows that.
Stephen Curry scored 35 for his third-straight 30+ scoring night (the first time in his career) also adding 5 rebounds, 15 assists & 3 steals. He also hit 7-for-13 from deep, giving him nearly half of Golden State's made threes on the night (15).
Kevin Love drew a big charge on David Lee late in the fourth quarter that gave the Wolves possession. Unfortunately on the ensuing offensive possession, Rubio committed turnover number six (of his seven) that led to a runout and a Klay Thompson slam dunk. That pushed the Golden State lead to six, 113-119 with 2:52 to play.
Over the next minute-and-a-half, the Warriors pushed the lead to ten points (their largest of the night), thanks to a big layup and a dagger three from Stephen Curry (despite him being 1-for-10 from the field prior to the lay-in).
While Love & Curry's statlines are impressive, tonight's player of the game was (without a doubt) Draymond Green. With no Andre Iguodala and Harrison Barnes not playing well, Green played 38 minutes off the bench and turned in an incredibly well-rounded line: 20 points on 78% shooting and 4 made threes, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals & 2 blocks. He's the kind of second round pick that every team in the NBA prays to find. He's an ideal role player and will be an integral part of Golden State's success this postseason.
One silver lining to tonight's game: This is the second-to-last game that I'll have to watch J.J. Barea suit up for Minnesota and play terrible basketball. He has one more year on his contract and I've already decided that if he's still on the team next season, I'll be picking another team to cheer for (and that's no joke), he literally makes watching the Wolves that intolerable. He's unprofessional and no matter how terrible he plays, he still plays. It's inexplicable!
The Wolves are now 40-41 on the year and will finish their season on Wednesday night vs. the Jazz at the Target Center with a chance at a .500 season. Wednesday's game will tip at 7pmCST, enjoy!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!