Wednesday, March 22, 2023
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NBA Preview: Minnesota Timberwolves (31-31) at Golden State Warriors (30-30)

When the Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors meet in San Francisco on Sunday afternoon, they will face off against two teams that are both below.500 and badly in need of a winning streak.

Following their split earlier this season at Minnesota, the Western Conference playoff contenders will play one more time in Golden State.

The most recent of those encounters took place earlier this month. In overtime, the Timberwolves stepped up their defense and prevented the Warriors from making a single 3-point shot on five attempts, allowing them to win 119-114 with just four points in total.

In a 116-101 victory over the Houston Rockets on Friday night at home, Golden State turned up the offensive pressure from long range with a season-high 26 3-pointers, one shy of the NBA record.

Without Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins, or Draymond Green, the Warriors’ Klay Thompson delivered in just his second consecutive game of the season. In 17 attempts, Thompson made 12 3-pointers to set a new NBA record for made 3-pointers. He missed by only two.

In November, the Warriors defeated Minnesota 137-114, and Thompson scored 21 points while shooting 5-for-8 from three-point range. Curry, Wiggins, and Green scored 61 points each for Golden State in that game.

Green may be with Thompson this time around because the veteran took Friday off to rest a bruised knee. However, Curry’s knee injury will keep him out for at least another week, and Wiggins’ return to the team is unknown due to personal reasons.

The Timberwolves missed an opportunity when they suffered consecutive home losses to the Washington Wizards and Charlotte Hornets at home on each end of the All-Star break, while the Warriors attempt to build on Friday’s victory with four more games at home in the next six days.

In the Timberwolves’ 121-113 defeat to the Hornets on Friday, Mike Conley scored 15 points, his most in four games for the team. The seasoned point guard became more familiar with his new teammates, which may have been more significant than anything else.

Following their stop in San Francisco, the Timberwolves will play four Western Conference contenders in California, including the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles teams. However, they do so without Karl-Anthony Towns, who has been sidelined for 41 of the team’s previous games due to a calf injury.

Chris Finch, the head coach of Minnesota, believes that Towns is close to returning, but that may not happen until the Timberwolves play the Philadelphia 76ers at home on March 7. As a result, on March 26, the Warriors would face him in their final matchup.

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