The Start — Curry Versus KAT
The 2022 NBA champion Golden State Warriors were fresh off a two-game losing streak and on the end of a back-to-back. They hosted the Minnesota Timberwolves and looked to right the ship. After getting bodied by Jaden McDaniels in the post and missing his first two shots from the field to open the game, Steph Curry (38/5/3/5 3PM) quickly woke up to the tune of a 13-point first quarter. What helped the 35-year-old the most was the amount of offensive rebounds that the Wolves gave up. A whopping seven offensive rebound period led to nine Warrior points which was only further exacerbated by nine more points off six Minnesota turnovers, three of them by an under-the-weather Anthony Edwards (33/6/7).
Luckily, for the Wolves, they have another one of the best offensive players in the NBA on their team.
Karl-Anthony Towns (21/14/3/3 STK) built off the momentum from his previous effort against the Spurs, tallying 8 of his own points in the quarter. He was able to keep the ship afloat to survive an otherwise lackadaisical effort by Minnesota. Things looked particularly shaky in the second period, as Golden State stretched their lead out to 38-30 with Chase Center rocking.
The Meat — Naz, Ant, and Rudy Arrive
Naz Reid (10/6/2), who left the previous game early due to a rough tumble on his neck, found his groove in the second quarter. He had a little shoving match with Jonathan Kuminga earlier in the game, but finally brought it on the court with an 8-point period. This transitioned nicely into entrance of Edwards. He scored 5 in a row, leading to a 10-point quarter of his own to regain a Minnesota lead.
The most impressive to watch was the dominance of Rudy Gobert (10/10/3/5 BLK) in the post. On offense, despite another rough night at the stripe (2/8), he was a foul magnet as he almost single-handedly put the Warriors in foul trouble. On defense, it was another brilliant clinic, turning away shot after shot in the paint. All too often, the Warriors found Draymond Green (9/9/7) with the ball at the top of the three-point line and no defender in sight. He went one for three in the first two minutes of the game, and then he refused to shoot the rest of the game while desperately looking to throw the ball to one of his splashier brothers.
Rudy Gobert vs. Draymond Green pic.twitter.com/svNijjYrYx— Timberwolves Clips (@WolvesClips) November 13, 2023
Gobert’s defense paved forced Golden State to 20 (30.4%) and 22-point (36.4%) quarters where the Wolves pulled ahead by as much as 16. The Warriors looked bewildered as the officials were refusing to allow them to illegally screen for Curry, like they did for the majority of their now defunct dynasty. Most importantly, this all bought enough time for his teammates to do what they do on offense. McDaniels opened the half with 7 straight points. Towns went for 7 straight of his own.
Then Edwards turned our dear old friend, Dario Šarić, into Yuta Watanabe.
The Finish — Ant is Inevitable
Credit to the Warriors for not letting the embarrassment of that dunk overwhelm them. A 16-point Wolves lead heading into the fourth quarter was quickly whittled down to 11, but their deployment of a zone defense wasn’t gimmicky enough to truly stifle Minnesota’s size. For every Golden State miss, they gave up a layup to an attacking 6’5”+ player in transition. As expected, the Warriors would rely on Curry and Thompson spamming three-pointers and
foul-baiting free throws to hang around, but they would never get within double-digits again (pre-garbage time). As if the dunk on Šarić wasn’t enough, Green tried to get in Ant’s face after a unnecessarily hard foul, so he responded by slamming the window shut with eight straight points, sending Warrior fans to the exits early.
Anthony Edwards spinning midrange jumper over Draymond Green pic.twitter.com/dN5BqF0ZRL— Timberwolves Clips (@WolvesClips) November 13, 2023
The second and third-stringers entered the game in the final 1:16 and made the game look much closer than it was, but it was a fairly convincing win once again. The Wolves improve to 7-2 with another impressive effort, making it six in a row. Above all else:
- The Wolves win despite a Steph Curry explosion (All 2009 draft jokes will not be tolerated).
- The Wolves win and there wasn’t a Andrew Wiggins revenge game.
- The Wolves win and Jonathan Kuminga had little to no impact on the outcome (All 2020 trade jokes will not be tolerated).
- The Wolves win and leave healthy despite Chris Paul and Draymond Green’s best efforts.
The. Wolves. Are. Back.
Canis Hoopus Comment of the Night
The Wolves will stay in the bay to run it back against the Golden State Warriors again on Tuesday 11/14 at 9:00pm CT, this time counting as an In-Season Tournament game. The Warriors will have 48 hours to figure out to solve the number one defense in the NBA.