OAKLAND -- Closing in on the No. 1 overall seed for the playoffs, the Warriors chase their 12th consecutive win Tuesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Warriors (63-14) have spent recent weeks following their defense, holding opponents to 41.4 percent during their 11-game streak. A victory over Minnesota would give the Warriors 204 wins over the past three seasons, setting an NBA record for such a span.
Any combination of Warriors wins and Spurs losses equaling three gives the Warriors homecourt advantage throughout the postseason.
The Timberwolves (31-45) made a brief run toward the playoffs in early March before a six-game losing streak extinguished all hope. They’re on the second night of a back-to-back set, defeating Portland 110-109 Monday night in Minneapolis.
Warriors by 14.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Draymond Green & Co. vs. Karl-Anthony Towns: Towns, who torched the Blazers for 34 points and 12 rebounds Monday, is averaging 31.7 points and 10.7 rebounds over his last three games. The Warriors will rotate the defensive assignments on Towns, but the bulk of the load will fall to Green, who gives away five inches in height. Green is playing his usual tremendous defense and will need to continue that to have any chance of containing Towns.
Warriors: F Kevon Looney (L hip strain) is listed as questionable. F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain, bone bruise) is listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.
Timberwolves: F Nemanja Bjelica (L foot fracture), G Zach LaVine (L knee surgery) and C Nikola Pekovic (R ankle soreness) are listed as out.
Warriors: 10-0. Timberwolves: 3-7.
The Warriors have won two of three this season and 16 of the last 19. They have won 15 of the last 20 in Oakland.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
NO D IN TIMBERWOLVES: Minnesota ranks 28th in field-goal percentage defense, 25th in defensive rating and 19th in 3-point percentage defense. Such poor defense tends to be an issue against the Warriors, who during their streak are shooting 51.1 percent from the field and 41.6 percent from deep.
COMFORTS OF HOME: The Warriors own the league’s best home record (33-4), while the T-Wolves are 11-25 away from Minneapolis (20-20 at home). They’ll also be on the second night of a back-to-back set. The Wolves are not much of a comeback team (9-42 when trailing after three quarters), but the Warriors surely remember blowing a lead to them last season at Oracle. They’ll have their guard up.
THE PAINT GAME: The Warriors’ game plan will require them to be stout in the paint and keep the Timberwolves off the offensive glass. Minnesota, which is 9-30 when outrebounded, ranks ninth in paint points per game (48.2) and third in second-chance points (14.8).