Resembling the team that has the best record in the NBA instead of the one that was crushed by the Memphis Grizzlies in their previous game, the Golden State Warriors got back in the win column by defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-108 on Sunday.
This was no easy victory for the Warriors. Golden State trailed by 10 points entering the fourth quarter, but took the lead after a furious 26-6 run. The run seemed to wake up the Warriors from their previously lethargic play. All of a sudden, Golden State was moving the ball on offense and playing tight defense, which left the young Timberwolves out of sorts and ultimately guaranteed the Warriors their 21st victory of the season.
Treymond: This was a back-and-forth affair for most of the first half; both teams frequently exchanged leads. Yet Golden State remained in striking distance mainly due to the shooting of Draymond Green.
Green is shooting 35.4 percent from 3 but has been finding the range as of late. In Golden State's past five games, he is shooting 54.5 percent. Green likely won't be able to sustain such hot shooting, but teams will continue to play off Green since defenses are more about Curry, Durant and Thompson. If he can make 3s at a decent clip, Golden State becomes that much stronger.
Old man West: Zaza Pachulia missed his second successive game with a wrist injury, so the Warriors started Kevon Looney in his place. But Looney and JaVale McGee both quickly got in foul trouble and were largely ineffective. The Warriors then turned to David West to man the center spot and the veteran was instrumental in Golden State's victory.
West finished the game with only three points, two assists and three rebounds in less than 14 minutes, but his defense in the fourth was critical to the Warriors' comeback. Providing toughness inside, West even had a excellent swat on the high-scoring Andrew Wiggins as Golden State turned a strong defensive effort into offense in the fourth.
Golden State's fourth-quarter lineup of Shaun Livingston, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Durant and West was a plus-18. Their success allowed Curry and Green to be well rested when coming back in to close things out.
Another milestone for Curry: Stephen Curry climbed up another spot on the NBA's all-time 3-point list with his first 3-pointer of the game. Surpassing Steve Nash, Curry is now 17th on the list with 1,687 career 3-pointers.
Minnesota's Big Three: The Timberwolves' collapse in the fourth can be chalked up to youth, inexperience and Golden State just being too deep and talented. Yet they were in the game in the first place thanks to the play of Zach LaVine, Karl-Anthony Towns and Wiggins.
The three Timberwolves stars scored 25 points apiece and are the main reason why there is so much optimism surrounding the team. Unfortunately, it looks like it might take another year or so before the trio can lead Minnesota to success.
The Warriors just don't lose twice: Golden State's streak of never losing back-to-back, regular-season games remains intact. The last time the Warriors lost two straight was in April 2015. Golden State has the NBA's longest regular-season streak without back-to-back losses at 110 games.
Schedule: This was Golden State's fourth game in five nights and the Warriors have been on the road since Wednesday. The Warriors have one more road game against the Pelicans on Tuesday before they head back home for a three-game homestand.