The Warriors closed out their weeklong swing through China on Sunday by gaining their first preseason win, a 142-110 romp over the Timberwolves at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai.
The defending champs started slowly but were, on the whole, much sharper than they had been in either of their first two exhibitions, including a loss to Minnesota on Thursday.
Here are five takeaways from the game:
SPLASH BROTHERS ON TARGET: Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the best long-distance shooting duo in the NBA, lived up the billing. Curry scored 40 points (13-of-20 from the field, including 6-of-9 beyond the arc, and 8-of-9 from the line) and Thompson fired in 28 (10-of-16 from the field, 8-of-10 from deep). It must also be noted that Curry’s game-high eight assists were the result of finding creative ways to get teammates involved.
UGLY EARLY: The Warriors have proven susceptible to poor first quarters, and this game was an example of that. Energy was low. There were sloppy passes, as well as fits of overpassing; they committed five turnovers in the first seven minutes. They also missed several defensive rotations, giving up easy baskets that allowed the Timberwolves to score 44 points in the quarter.
BEAUTIFUL LATE: Perhaps spurred by a blast of energy provided by Curry midway through the second quarter, the Warriors began buckling down on defense and perking up on offense. They outscored Minnesota 106-66 over the remainder of the game. The postgame stat sheets were inconsistent, but the eye test revealed a team that summoned the will to take care of business before heading home.
BELL MAKING NOISE: Rookie forward Jordan Bell continues to deliver. Though most of his minutes are against second-stringers -- as would be the case in the regular season -- he turns energy into production. Playing seven minutes, he scored 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting, with his athleticism on full display. He has been much more effective than second-year big man Damian Jones, who did not play.
THE SWAT TEAM: With Draymond Green leading the way with three, the Warriors recorded 11 blocks on most stat sheets. Others getting in on the action were Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee, David West, Omri Casspi and Bell. The Warriors, despite not having a classic rim protector, led the league in blocks last season and have the goods to do so again.