ORACLE ARENA — This season has been one of the loudest at Oracle with the Warriors off to their best start in franchise history. But the crowd took some major convincing Saturday.
The Warriors, in the midst of their first skid of the season — having lost three of the last five games including back-to-back losses against both L.A. teams — started slow against the Timberwolves as fans threw a cloud of thick tension through the arena.
Thanks to the continued efforts of the Splash Brothers who combined for 46 points, the Warriors walked away with a 110-97 victory over Minnesota for their ninth straight home win.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said he has been dumbfounded by the play of his team as of late and although there were glimpses of sloppy play against Minnesota, he was encouraged by some of the good things he saw:
“I don’t know what it is. We’ve got to keep working at it. I told our guys that if we want to win in May and June, we have to play every possession. You just can’t completely lose focus…But I think we took a step forward from our last couple games.”
Though the Timberwolves started the game efficiently, shooting 8-of-11 from the field, the Warriors dialed in defensively to hold Minnesota to just 47.4 percent shooting by the end of the opening quarter.
Golden State withstood the reticent crowd who seemed less than pleased with a 10-point lead after two quarters and exploded their way back into fans’ hearts with a third quarter outburst.
In the first three minutes out of halftime, the Warriors had pushed their lead to 18 points.
With just under six minutes left in the third, Curry hounded Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine coming up with a steal and raced to the other end of the floor. Curry missed the transition three, but Draymond Green persisted underneath for the rebound, kicking the ball back out to Curry.
Curry sent the ball flying to the opposite end of the baseline where Thompson hit his fourth trey of the night to put the Warriors on top 78-57. The fans were sent to their feet — finally back on good terms with the Dubs.
Green, who finished with just four points also logged eight rebounds, six assists, six steals, and three blocks. After the game he said he knew there would be scoring from his teammates and that in order to win he would have to inject what was missing from the game and the building:
“The game was kind of lacking some energy so you try to bring that energy and intensity on the defensive end…I knew we needed a spark and I wanted to bring that spark of energy.”
Unfortunately, by the time the fans were ready to get into the game, the game was all but over with the Warriors up 21 points to start the fourth quarter. The starters were quickly pulled and garbage time ensued.
Even though taking down Minnesota — who dropped to a West-worst 5-24 — proved an easy task, the Warriors will be tested over the next two weeks to hold onto their beloved home court advantage.
Golden State (24-5) will play their second in a six-game home stand Tuesday against the Philadelphia 76ers (4-25) before taking on the Eastern Conference-leading Toronto Raptors (23-7) Friday.