I would be lying if I said I wasn't more than concerned that Minnesota blew a 14-point halftime lead and allowed the Warriors to battle back and take a lead. To the point where the final quarter and a half were a back-and-forth affair that the TWolves were thankfully able to close.
The Wolves' largest lead of the night was 17 points and the Warriors only led by 2 points on a number of different points in the final two quarters. Tonight's win is only the fourth time this season that the Wolves have won a second-half of back-to-back games this season (after losing to the Kings last night). The TWolves also snapped a three-game losing streak and moved to within 1.5 games of the Houston Rockets for the 8th seed in the Western Conference.
A 30-minute halftime may have had a small part in the TWolves offense lapse in the third quarter that allowed the Warriors to punch their way back into the game. That 30-minute halftime was for Chris Mullin who had a ceremony at halftime to retire his jersey. We'll talk a bit more about that a little later...
Minnesota looked as though they were going to 'run away' with this one after the horrid shooting for Golden State in the first half. That changed dramatically in the second half as the Warriors picked apart Minnesota's defense and got back into this one.
Minnesota got some key play from their bench and another huge performance from Kevin Love to snap a nasty 3-game losing streak and move to 23-24 on the year and 11-12 on the road. The Warriors fall to 18-25 and 10-13 at home.
Let's take a look at who stepped up for each team and who should've stepped up...
HOT: Clearly the 'hot' player for Minny was Sir Kevin Love! K-Love carried the team in scoring scoring over 37% of the team's points! After the game Adelman sang his praise, saying he's "never had someone put up those kind of numbers." Also calling it "unbelievable". For the Warriors it was Love's matchup at the 'four' spot. He had a nice 25-9 game for himself, however in crunch time--that final quarter, Lee scored just one point!
NOT: J.J. Barea. As far as shooting it wasn't a kind night for Barea. He shot just 3-of-10 from the field and 0-for-2 from deep. He finished with just 6pts, but he more than made up for it with his 10 assists! For the Warriors, it was just about every guy who played in the first half. They W's went through players having 'off' quarters, but nobody had a terrible game (ultimately for either team).
MISC.: J.J. Barea & Luke Ridnour both had 10 assists, it's just the 5th time in franchise history that two players have each had 10+ assists.....Derrick Williams grabbed 11 rebounds (all defensive).....Klay Thompson scored all of his 17 points in the second half.....Dominic McGuire had an rough shooting night: 1-5, but grabbed 9 boards and had 4 assists.....
KEY STAT(S): A +15 for Minnesota in the rebounding category.....Despite Minnesota's 17 turnovers, because of the Warriors' poor first half shooting and the Wolves' rebounding advantage, Minnesota was somehow able to escape with the W.....
FINAL NOTES: During halftime, Joe Lacob (Warriors owner) was part of the halftime ceremony that saw Chris Mullin have his jersey retired and unveiled in the rafters. During that, the fans in Oakland rained down boos that resonated through ORACLE Arena. Here's the video on that. Supposedly, the fans were booing because the W's traded away Monta Ellis! Yeah, the fans were booing because the team traded...Monta Ellis!.....Veteran center Brad Miller stated before tonight's game that he intends to retire at season's end (14 year's in the NBA). He intends to focus on hunting TV shows in retirement. He's got a very small buyout this summer on his contract that basically guaranteed he wouldn't be back next season. David Kahn said he'd like Miller to stay with the team in some capacity once he's finished playing...if interested.....Pek only played 11 minutes because of his sore ankles, he came off the court and went directly into the locker room during the third quarter and didn't return to the floor or the bench for the remainder of the game.....Beasley only played 10 minutes because of that swollen big toe, he did score 8 points on 3-of-6 shooting, however.....J.J. Barea was playing with a swollen right thumb he jammed in the last game, he had it wrapped up, could've had something to do with his 30% shooting night.....Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut were inactive due to ankle injuries.....
UP NEXT: Wed. 3/21 @San Antonio (7:30pmCT tip), Fri. 3/23 @Oklahoma City (7pmCT tip), Sun. 3/25 vs. Denver (2:30pmCT tip).
Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!