Warriors battle Wolves for 50th win
ORACLE ARENA — In the Warriors’ final home game of the regular season, they notched their 50th win, a mark not reached by the franchise in 20 years.
The Warriors surged back from a 19-point deficit to defeat the Timberwolves 130-120 in front of the 79th-consecutive sellout crowd at Oracle.
With the Warriors’ victory and — and Phoenix being knocked out of contention by the Grizzlies — the Warriors locked up the sixth seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
David Lee — who finished with 25 points and 9 rebounds — told SFBay the emotion of finishing at home on a good note was overwhelming:
“It was a very emotional night and you could see that in our reactions … It was just a great home crowd tonight and it was great to get this win.”
The day was bittersweet though, as the Warriors announced Monday center Andrew Bogut suffered a fractured rib in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game in Portland and would be out indefinitely.
Guard Stephen Curry poured in a team-high 32 points and added 15 assists. He said the team was facing the reality of starting the post-season without their Aussie bigman:
“We hope that a miracle happen with Andrew, but we’ll see what happens. As a team we’re focused on what the challenge ahead of us is, but we have to move forward.”
Without Bogut and Andre Iguodala (resting with knee tendinitis), the Warriors were caught unhinged early in the game.
The Timberwolves went into the second quarter with a 42-28 lead, racking up the most points the Warriors have allowed an opponent to score in a single quarter this season.
Minnesota continued to fire, extending their lead to 19 points in the second quarter despite Stephen Curry finding his rhythm.
But in the blink of an eye, the game changed.
The Warriors tied the game with 2:46 remaining in the first half on a 23-4 run — including threes from Jordan Crawford, Draymond Green, and Curry — and forced six Minnesota turnovers for 13 points.
Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman said the run by Golden State was inevitable and he saw it coming a mile away:
“You knew they were going to make a run, nothing changed. You’re not going to be able to hold them down. They were going to get their run.”
Lee and Klay Thompson caught fire in the third quarter, combining for 22 points while Golden State held Love to just five points for the quarter.
“Came out of the gate guns blazing” is an often-used cliché, but the perfect way to describe Love in the opening minutes of Monday’s game.
Love gave the Warriors a taste of their own sharp-shooting medicine, going 5-for-5 including four three-pointers in the first five minutes of play, finishing the quarter with 22 points.
Golden State took the lead with 4:40 left in the third frame on a Green layup and didn’t relinquish the advantage for the rest of the night.
Green finished the night with a career-high 20 points (including a career-high four three-pointers) to go with a career-high-tying 12 rebounds.
Warriors coach Mark Jackson said Green does what it takes to win:
“He doesn’t mind sacrificing his body, sacrificing his numbers. Just chases down victories instead of numbers…The impact he had on that basketball game was incredible.”
The Warriors play their final regular-season game Wednesday in Denver, after which the NBA Playoff schedule will be released.
The Warriors earned their 50th win of the season, recording the fifth 50-win season in their 68-year franchise history (first since winning 50 in 1993-94). … Stephen Curry finished with 32 points and 15 assists, his 10th 30-point/10-assist game of the season, the most by a Warriors in a single season since Tim Hardaway had 10 such games in 1991-92. Curry has scored 30 points in three consecutive games for the first time in his career. … Kevin Love recorded his 10th career 40-point/10-rebound game (sixth this season) with 40 points and 14 rebounds to go with nine assists.