After a forgettable night in Memphis on Saturday, the Warriors look to get back to their winning ways Sunday against the skidding Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Warriors (20-4), playing their second back-to-back in five days, will need to find a reserve energy source against the Timberwolves, perhaps the most athletic team in the league.
That athleticism, however, is offset by youth. Minnesota (6-17) has not been able to find its footing under first-year coach Tom Thibodeau and has lost seven of its last eight – the last three by double-digit margins.
How bad is it in Minneapolis? Starting point guard Ricky Rubio, assessing the latest loss Friday night, said the team was “playing with no heart, with no desire, it’s just awful.”
Warriors by 11
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Draymond Green/Kevin Durant et al vs. Karl-Anthony Towns. Nothing against Andrew Wiggins and Zach LeVine – the other gifted 21-year-olds on the roster – but KAT is the most challenging defensive assignment. He’s long, he plays inside and out and he also makes plays for others. The Warriors will throw several defenders his way and don’t be surprised by occasionally double-teams against the 7-footer from Kentucky.
Warriors: 8-2. Timberwolves: 2-8.
Warriors: F Kevon Looney (R ankle sprain) is available to play. Center Zaza Pachulia (right wrist contusion) is out.
Timberwolves: F Nemanja Bjelica (R ankle sprain) is listed as questionable. C Nikola Pekovic (R ankle pain) is listed as out.
The Warriors have won eight of the last nine and 16 of the last 19. Including nine in a row at Target Center.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
Streak on the line. The Warriors are 3-0 following losses this season, and have extended to 110 their ongoing NBA-record of regular-season games without back-to-back losses. They were 9-0 in such games last season. Can they keep it going?
Buckets for free. One of the Timberwolves’ biggest issues has been defense. They’re 27th in defensive rating and are allowing 47.4-percent shooting from the field, worse than every team except the Lakers. After a dreadful shooting night in Memphis, Stephen Curry and Thompson will have opportunities to bounce back.
The high-flyer. Though often undone by errors in judgment, LaVine is among the most exciting players in the league. The reigning Slam-Dunk champ is a threat to attack the basket but also has added a respectable 3-point shot. Klay Thompson will have his hands full.