The Golden State Warriors looked fatigued in their 109-104 victory over the timberwolves and they are still on their quest to become the first team in NBA history not to lose two games in a row. Perhaps that’s a suitable expectation when a team goes 62-7 to open a season, but it’s also a big reason why the Warriors have often been able to persevere through tiredness, poor shooting nights, and all the other troubles that send perfectly good teams on losing streaks. They have the focus to avoid falling into sustained periods of difficulty.
Given those credentials, Monday’s road game at the Minnesota Timberwolves seemed like a near-certain victory for Golden State. Saturday’s offensively challenged loss to the San Antonio Spurs would have presumably inspired the team to play better, particularly given a tightened race at the top of the conference. Despite playing their third game in four nights (and 10th in 16), the Warriors had clear talent, experience, and urgency advantages over the Wolves. It wouldn’t have been terribly surprising to see a blowout that allowed Stephen Curry to sit for the full fourth quarter.
The result was anything but easy. Curry followed a rough game in San Antonio by shooting 2-of-9 from deep and 6-of-17 from the field, and Klay Thompson balanced making all five of his three-point attempts by going 0-of-12 on two-pointers. Minnesota stayed tight throughout and tied the score at 101-101 entering the final two minutes.
Yet that’s when the Warriors confidence and experience took over. Draymond Green finished off a terrific night (24 points on 10-of-13 FG, nine rebounds, six assists, three blocks, three steals) with a game-tilting dunk and lay-up to allow Curry and Thompson to ice the win with four free throws in the closing 13 seconds. The 109-104 victory raises the Warriors’ record to 63-7 and keeps hope alive that they can reach 73 wins before the end of the regular season.