Gameday: With no Durant, keep your eyes on Klay vs Jimmy Butler


Gameday: With no Durant, keep your eyes on Klay vs Jimmy Butler

OAKLAND -- Two of the hottest teams in the NBA collide Wednesday night, when the Warriors, without Kevin Durant, face the remodeled Minnesota Timberwolves at Oracle Arena.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6:30 p.m., with tipoff scheduled for 7:35.

Durant came away limping after taking a knee to his left thigh on the Warriors’ first offensive possession Monday against Miami. He played through it, but soreness kept him out of practice Tuesday and will sideline him Wednesday.

Andre Iguodala will start in place on Durant, head coach Steve Kerr announced two hours before tip-off.

The Warriors (8-3), who have won their last four games, faced the Timberwolves (7-3) twice during their preseason sojourn to China. This is the first of three meetings in the regular season.

Minnesota in the offseason brought in eight new faces, including three starters, in its quest to enter the playoffs for the first time in 14 seasons -- the longest active postseason drought in the NBA.


Warriors by 8.5


Klay Thompson & Co. vs. Jimmy Butler: Butler is among the new acquisitions and Wolves quickly discovered his value when they were blown out in the two games he missed. They haven’t lost since the former Bulls All-Star returned on Oct. 27. Though Thompson will get the bulk of the defensive assignment, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala will take their turns.


Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L thigh contusion) is listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.

Timberwolves: C Justin Patton (L foot surgery) is listed as out.


Ken Mauer (crew chief), Derrick Collins, Gediminas Petraitis.


The Warriors won three of four meetings last season and have won 17 of the last 20.


TRACKING THE KAT: Wolves C Karl-Anthony Towns may be the best of the talented young big men to confront the Warriors of late. The 7-footer is averaging 20.4 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.6 blocks over the past five games. He’s fabulous on the block but also capable of launching the 3. The Warriors could’ve used Durant’s length but will have to settle for whatever they get from Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee, Jordan Bell, a dash of David West and Green. This could be a low-minutes game for Pachulia. Best bet: get Towns in foul trouble.

ATTACK THE PAINT: Opponents are shooting 49.5 percent against the Wolves, making them dead last in field-goal percentage defense. They do a decent job defending the arc (35.1 percent, 11th in the league) but can be vulnerable against half-court sets and particularly in transition. Only two teams allow more points in the paint and only one allows more off fast breaks.

THE ROTATION FILES: This will be intriguing, as Warriors coach Steve Kerr continues to search for the right rotations. The Timberwolves are rife with cross-matching possibilities. Durant’s absence will hurt. Aside from presuming either Stephen Curry or Thompson will be on the floor at all times, it’ll be interesting to see how and when Kerr deploys his bench.

Curry pours in 40 points as Warriors finish China trip with rout of T'Wolves


Curry pours in 40 points as Warriors finish China trip with rout of T'Wolves

Stephen Curry finished off his China trip with a performance ripped right out of his MVP highlight reel.

Curry scored 40 points to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 142-110 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday in Shanghai for a split of their two-game series in China.

It was the Warriors' first win of the preseason and came like so many of their victories of the last three years, filled with Curry's incredible shot-making and playmaking .

The 2015 and 2016 NBA MVP was 13 for 20 from the field, including 6 of 9 from 3-point range, and added eight assists.

Klay Thompson added eight 3-pointers and 28 points, while Kevin Durant scored 22.

Andrew Wiggins had 19 points for Minnesota, which won't play again in the preseason.

Golden State shot 60 percent from the field (51 of 85) and 61 percent (20 for 33) from behind the arc.  Rookie Jordan Bell made all five shots and scored 11 points. Draymond Green also scored 11.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 16 points and Jimmy Butler had 15. The Wolves poured in 44 points in the first quarter, but Tom Thibodeau's club yielded quarters of 36, 40 and 38 points over the first three periods.

UP NEXT: Golden State (1-2) hosts Sacramento on Friday. Minnesota (2-1) has finished its preseason schedule.

NBA Gameday: How Will Warriors handle new-look T'Wolves in China?


NBA Gameday: How Will Warriors handle new-look T'Wolves in China?

Programming note: Watch "Warriors Outsiders" tonight at 10:30pm on NBC Sports Bay Area, followed by Warriors-Timberwolves from China at 11pm.

Playing the second of four games on their preseason schedule, the Warriors will need to make three significant adjustments when facing the Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

The first two are the location and the tipoff time. The game will be played halfway around the world, at the Shenzhen Universiade Center in Shenzhen, China at 11 p.m. Pacific time and can be seen on NBC Sports Bay Area.

The third adjustment is to the opponent. Minnesota during the offseason underwent a major redesign, resulting in 10 new faces, including three new starters: guards Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague, and power forward in Taj Gibson. They’ve also added veteran guards Jamal Crawford and Aaron Brooks as reserves.

This is the first of two games in China between the teams as part of the NBA’s Global Games initiative.


Warriors by 6


Warriors: No injuries listed.

Timberwolves: Rookie C Justin Patton (L foot surgery recovery) is listed as out.


ACTION BEYOND THE ARC: After shooting 12.1 percent (4-of-33) from 3-point range in their preseason opener last Saturday, the Warriors, though hardly alarmed, will seek to post numbers more representative of their shooting skill.

TRACKING THE KAT: Minnesota C Karl-Anthony Towns is among the best big men in the league. And he’s only 21. The Warriors will try a variety of defenders, from starters Draymond Green and Kevin Durant to reserves JaVale McGee and Damian Jones.

SIZE MATTERS: The Warriors love the play small, while the Timberwolves go the opposite direction, starting only one player (Teague) under 6-8 -- with 6-11 former starters Gorgui Dieng coming off the bench. This should be an early look at how the Warriors will deal with opponents boasting great length.