MINNEAPOLIS -- Ever since Stephen Jackson returned to the Golden State lineup, the Warriors have been methodically chugging along.
Jackson's clutch shooting and another strong all-around game from Baron Davis kept the Warriors going Tuesday night in chilly Minnesota, helping Golden State reach heights not seen in the Bay Area in quite some time.
Davis had 22 points, nine assists and a season-high five steals to lead Golden State to a 105-98 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.
Jackson added 21 points for the Warriors (23-16), who are seven games above .500 for the first time since 1993-94, Chris Webber's lone season with the Warriors.
"We're playing at a high enough level to win games, that's for sure," said Golden State coach Don Nelson, whose Warriors are 22-10 since Jackson returned from a suspension. "And we have for a long time. I don't know if we have anything more. I don't know if we can be better. We're playing pretty well."
The Timberwolves are not.
Antoine Walker had season highs with 26 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for Minnesota, which has lost another three in a row and has started yet another losing streak. Al Jefferson added 18 points and 14 boards.
Losing comes in bunches for these young Wolves (5-32), who haven't halted a losing streak at fewer than five games this season.
"It can wear on you," Walker said. "It's getting to a point where we want to win some games. We can't get any complacency. Nobody likes to be a part of a loser, so we want to get it back right. We want to improve in the process, so hopefully we can turn the corner in the second half of the season."
Monta Ellis scored 12 of his 17 points in the first quarter and the Warriors scored 31 points off 20 Minnesota turnovers to win their third straight game as they try to keep pace with the surging Los Angeles Lakers in the Pacific Division.
The Lakers have won seven games in a row and started the night with a 4½ game lead on Golden State, but have lost center Andrew Bynum for eight weeks with an injured left knee. That could open the door for the Warriors, who have won four of five and have plenty of confidence in reserve coming off their first playoff appearance in 13 years.
"Absolutely, it's there for the taking," Davis said. "It seems like we're hitting a nice little stride with the way the game is going and the way we are playing.
"We are getting better. You can't ask for more from this team. The resiliency, the fight, to fight back from injuries and a lot of stuff that we've been through. This is a close-knit team."
The Timberwolves trimmed a 14-point halftime deficit to 62-58 midway through the third quarter when Ryan Gomes hit a jumper to cap a 10-0 run.
Golden State responded with a 21-6 spurt and finished the third quarter in back-breaking fashion.
Davis hit a long 3-pointer with 5.4 seconds left in the period, then got a steal and threw a lob to Matt Barnes just before the period ended for an 83-66 lead.
"You can't make those plays," Wolves coach Randy Wittman said. "That does suck the wind out of you."
But the Warriors got sloppy in the fourth and made just three of their first 15 shots to allow the Wolves to trim the lead to 96-92 with 3:26 to play.
But Jackson came back with a 3-pointer, then converted a layup off a steal after appearing to travel to put the game away.
The way this season has gone for the Wolves, the losses could keep coming. They have had three five-game losing streaks, a six-gamer and an eight-gamer before their current three-game slide.
Timberwolves C Theo Ratliff has rejoined the team after spending the last month in Alabama following knee surgery. Ratliff isn't expected to be ready to play for another few weeks. ... Minnesota G Rashad McCants drew a technical with 6:13 to go in the second after he faked like he was going to throw the ball in the stands after being called for a foul. ... Davis wore a brace on his sore left shoulder for the third game in a row.
|Golden State (23-16) «||28||28||27||22||105|
|GS:B. Davis 22 Pts
GS:A. Biedrins 8 Reb
GS:B. Davis 9 Ast
|MIN:A. Walker 26 Pts
MIN:A. Jefferson 14 Reb
MIN:S. Telfair 8 Ast
|Players of the Game|
|B. Davis, PG||38||7-16||5-8||5||9||3||22|
|M. Ellis, SG||36||6-13||5-7||1||4||1||17|
|S. Jackson, SG||33||7-15||4-4||3||2||0||21|
|M. Barnes, SF||22||5-7||1-1||3||1||3||11|
|A. Croshere, PF||17||3-6||3-3||3||2||2||9|
|A. Biedrins, C||26||0-5||0-0||8||0||5||0|
|M. Pietrus, SF||24||4-7||0-0||4||1||5||10|
|A. Harrington, PF||23||4-8||2-2||2||0||2||12|
|C. Watson, PG||11||0-1||2-3||0||2||0||2|
|K. Azubuike, SF||10||0-2||1-2||4||0||2||1|
|P. O'Bryant, C||1||0-1||0-0||1||0||0||0|
|T. Hudson, PG||Did Not Play|
|K. Perovic, C||Did Not Play|
|M. Belinelli, SG||Did Not Play|
|B. Wright, SF||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|M. Jaric, SF||39||3-10||0-0||5||3||2||6|
|A. Jefferson, PF||35||7-14||4-4||14||0||2||18|
|R. Gomes, PF||34||6-13||3-5||5||0||3||15|
|S. Telfair, PG||31||4-9||2-4||2||8||4||10|
|R. McCants, SG||30||4-12||2-2||5||3||5||11|
|A. Walker, SF||26||10-15||2-2||10||0||1||26|
|G. Buckner, SG||15||1-3||2-2||2||1||3||4|
|C. Smith, PF||13||1-4||3-7||4||0||4||5|
|G. Green, SG||8||1-2||0-0||2||1||1||3|
|C. Brewer, SF||8||0-1||0-0||0||1||3||0|
|T. Ratliff, C||Did Not Play|
|M. Doleac, C||Did Not Play|
|M. Madsen, PF||Did Not Play|
|R. Foye, PG||Did Not Play|
|C. Richard, PF||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|