The Minnesota Timberwolves had an excellent chance to play spoiler as the Golden State Warriors were looking to lock up a playoff berth in this one. Unfortunately an almost expected third quarter lapse doomed the Wolves as they lost 89-105.
The Warriors have clinched just their second playoff berth in 19 seasons. This was a sixth-straight W over the Wolves and a season series sweep.
Tonight I kept a game log of my thoughts on tonight's game and I decided to use that for our Gameday recap. Hope you enjoy!
-Warriors start off with two empty possessions: David Lee hook shot miss & Curry three-point miss. The Bogut with a mid-range jumper & Thompson with an o-reb and reverse putback.
-Rubio starting tonight's game like he started that game vs. Detroit: A LOT OF OPEN MISSES! Went 1-13 FG vs. DET.
-SCORE: 8-8 w/7:00 to play.
-Pek really working hard on both ends. Had one particular possession defensively vs. Bogut where he got up on him defensively on the mid-range, moved his feet as he drove and body up on him as he put up the shot, was called for a foul...not so sure it was, but good to see nonetheless.
-Just realized I really don't care much for this Warriors team. They just don't seem like a likable bunch to me...at least from a non-Warriors fan perspective. There are some teams in the NBA that you appreciate watching, Warriors not one of those teams (in my opinion).
-MAN! Rubio is excellent at sneaking in and stealing lazy outlet passes. Just good at playing passing lanes period.
-Wonder if the Warriors can keep this team together? Will their main reserves Jack & Landry be back next season?
-With all the talk about Warriors depth, beyond Jack & Landry off the bench...who do they have?!
-If they're matched up against a #3 like DEN, they'll see what true depth is!
-Klay Thompson killing the Wolves in this first quarter.
-Klay finishes with 12 of GSW's 26 1st quarter points.
-TWolves open 2nd Q with Barea, Shved, Budinger, Cunningham & Stiemsma.
-This is Budinger's 18th game of the season--same # Kevin Love has played.
-Golden State started second quater 0-for-5 before a 3 from Curry made it 31-28 MIN w/10:00 to play.
-Another Thompson 3 and it's 38-36 MIN w/8:00 to play.
-The Thunder beat the Jazz, so the Warriors need to beat the Wolves tonight to clinch a playoff berth. TWolves hoping to play spoiler here.
-Thompson hit yet another three...perhaps some adjustments could be made...?
-TWolves reserves playing pretty well tonight, Dante active as always, JJ & Bud hitting their shots with Stiemer & Shved looking a bit more aggressive than in recent games.
-I don't think Thompson has yet to come out...pretty sure he's played the first 18 minutes of the game as Jackson is forced into a timeout thanks to a TWolves run. Wolves have to find a way to slow him down.
-Just thinking...Minnesota's season is over in another week and a half. It's been a long season, but the improved play as of late and Adelman's 1000th W have been fun.
-Thompson with 25 points w/5:00 to play in the half and was perfect from the field until a miss from deep at the 4:40 mark.
-Adelman brings Rubio & Pekovic back in at the 4:00 mark for Barea & Stiemsma, Kirilenko in for Budinger at the next dead ball. Surprisingly sticking with Alexey Shved out there, despite his typical struggles of late.
-Rubio's offense has been coming and going since his return and lately it's gone. The only points he's getting are from the free throw line. He went 8-for-9 vs. Detroit and is getting to line a number of times tonight, as well.
-Talked plenty in the preview about the Warriors three-point prowess and they're putting that on display tonight courtesy of Klay & Steph.
-As always, Kirilenko moving without the basketball and as always, he's getting himself a lot of open looks and easy baskets.
-Both Curry & Thompson head to the bench with under a minute to play in the half--both with three personal fouls.
-Warriors lead by one after first half and Thompson goes 9-of-11 for 25 points in 20 minutes.
-TWolves HAVE to find a way to slow down Thompson and Golden State's three-point shooting. The Warriors are 6-of-13 and Klay is 5-of-6.
-Despite everything, the Wolves are playing pretty well in this one on both ends.
-Pekovic with just 3 points (all in the 1st Q) at the half. I'd expect him to come out aggressive in this second half and get some good offensive production early in this third quarter.
-It's been all Thompson in the first half, will be interesting to see if they keep going to him or if they'll look to get some more players involved in the offense...
-TWolves trying to go to Pek early in the third, but Bogut still doing an excellent job on him defensively.
-Thompson started the game 9-for-9 and has now missed 6 straight shots (4 in the third quarter).
-Pek speeding up his moves in the post and keeping Bogut a little off balance so he can't keep sending back those shots now.
-Thompson gets back on track with a three-pointer at the 7:20 to play mark to make it 60-63 GSW.
-Andrew Bogut (11) and David Lee (10) getting it done on the boards.
-An altercation at just under 7:00 to play mark in third. He was held by Thompson on the defensive end and then they exchanged shoves. Luke was eventually called for a technical foul and Steph Curry hits the freebie at the line.
-5:57 to play in the third and the Warriors lead 61-66.
-It was all Klay in the first half, but in the third the Warriors are looking to get more points in the paint and are crashing the offensive boards for a number of second chance opportunities.
-Warriors are the #1 three-point shooting team in the NBA. The Wolves are the worst three-point shooting team in the NBA. Despite a decent night from downtown for Minnesota, the Warriors are certainly the far superior shooting squad.
-Warriors have rattled off a 19-4 run to make it 64-78 GSW.
-Like so many times before, the 'wheels are falling off' in the third quarter for our Minnesota Timberwolves. Wolves have had some incredible fourth quarters this season...do they have one in them tonight?
-Refs taking a look at a Jarrett Jack foul on Andrei Kirilenko via replay. After the review, it's determined as a flagrant 1 as there was clearly unnecessary contact from Jack on AK. He just wound up and took a swipe across his arms. Makes me hate the man even more as the reasons continue to pile up.
-Budinger continues to play well as he knocks down a very contested three-pointer to make it 69-80 GSW w/2:00 to play in the third.
-Warriors lead the Wolves 70-86 after three.
-TWolves begin fourth quarter with the second unit (JJ, Shved, Bud, Dante & Stiemer), Warriors with Curry, Jack, Klay, Landry & Ezeli.
-Warriors open up biggest lead 74-92 w/8:30 to play.
-Adelman sticking with mainly reserves and if things continue on this path, the starters probably won't see much more tonight as they'll be needed tomorrow when the Wolves take on the Clippers at Staples Center.
-I'm watching the Warriors broadcast and unfortunately Ric Bucher is their sideline reporter, my dislike for Bucher lies just below my dislike for Jarrett Jack.
-TWolves definitely getting worked on the boards tonight.
-Warriors beginning to slow it down and are working deeper into the shot clock on their possessions.
-The redundancy from this Warriors broadcast team is unbelievable. I think I've heard three or four phrases about Thompson & Golden State's chances of clinching a playoff spot nearly thirty-four million times. Give or take a million.
-Warriors hold a fifteen-point lead with 5:22 to play and they empty their bench. Adelman follows suit and brings bench warmers Gelabale & CJ into the game. Definitely won't see Rubio, Pek or AK again in this one.
-Greg Stiemsma out there chucking up mid-range jumpers. I know he can make it, but man it always looks ugly and more often than not it's a brick. He's got such a weird stroke, looks very disjointed with very limited lift.
-For just the second time in 19 years the Golden State Warriors have clinched a playoff berth. Up next a quick sweep from a team like the Clippers, Nuggets or Grizzlies.
-Final in this one: 89-105.
Let's take a look at tonight's box score...
Chase Budinger had his best scoring night since his return from knee surgery, scoring 17 points (one off tying his season-high) on 7-of-15 shooting. Bud scored 7pts in the second quarter and another 6 in the fourth quarter.
When Bud wasn't scoring from the small forward position, AK47 was. Kirilenko scored 6pts in the first quarter and another 7pts in the third quarter to eventually finish with 15 on the night. He also added 4 rebounds, 2 assists & 2 blocks in just 21 minutes.
Alexey Shved only had two points on 1-of-6 shooting, however he tapped into his playmaking capabilities. Shved finished with 9 assists to lead the Wolves.
After Pekovic's hot week April 1-7 that earned him Western Conference Player of the Week honors, he met the defensive-minded Andrew Bogut tonight in the Bay Area and struggled mightily. Pek was turned away many times at the rim and finished just 2-of-8 from the field with 5 points & 7 rebounds in 26 minutes. Hopefully he can get back on track tomorrow night vs. the Clippers.
The Timberwolves' starting backcourt got absolutely worked by Golden State's starting guards. Rubio & Ridnour finished the game a combined 4-of-16 from the field and just 13 points. Rubio had another awful shooting night. He went 1-for-13 vs. Detroit in his last game and he followed that up with an 0-for-10 night.
The Warriors starting backcourt combined to score 54 of Golden State's 105 points. Thompson started the night 9-for-9 from the field and then went 1-for-10 down the stretch. Despite that he still finished with 30 points and a career-high 5 steals. He also made 6 of his 10 three point attempts as the Warriors made 10 threes combined as a team!
Curry also finished with 10 assists to register a double-double on the night.
The Wolves were not only worked in the backcourt, but also on the boards. The Warriors grabbed 60 rebounds & 38 defensive which are both new season-high for a Wolves opponent. The Warriors' starting frontcourt combined to snag 36 of their 60 total: Bogut (14), Lee (12) & Barnes (10).
Matchup Battle Report...
Pekovic vs. Bogut: Bogut WINS
Minnesota's starting backcourt vs. Golden State's starting backcourt: Golden State WINS
The Timberwolves are right back in action tomorrow night to take on the Clippers at the Staples Center. It's another late tip (10:30pmCT), stay tuned for the preview, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!