OAKLAND – The Warriors returned to Oracle Arena Monday night after an 11-day road trip and kept things rolling, with a 116-108 win over the Timberwolves.
The Warriors (19-9) extended their current winning streak to four games.
While the return of Draymond Green bolstered the defense, the trio of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson combined for 86 points to lead the offense.
Here are three takeaways from the Warriors' victory before a sellout crowd:
Draymond is back and, wow, he makes an impact
After missing 11 consecutive games with a sprained right big toe, Green was anxious to get back on the court -- and it showed.
He posted a rather typical stat line: seven points, 10 rebounds (a team-high), seven assists and one block. But those numbers don’t convey his overall presence nearly as well as him being plus-11 in 31 minutes.
Green was a ball of energy from the start, spurring the Warriors to a 13-0 lead barely three minutes into the game. Bringing it from both ends, he rarely let up.
The Warriors' defense, which was so solid in their previous game last Friday in Milwaukee, took on an even more feral look with Green leading the attack.
So much for not joining the 3-ball revolution
As the rest of the NBA launches with abandon from beyond the arc, the Warriors have insisted they will maintain their offensive identity, which is to shoot 3-pointers not in volume, but upon opportunity.
There were opportunities on Monday and for the second straight game, the Warriors hoisted with regularity. They were 19-of-43 (44.2 percent) from deep. The 43 attempts were nearly 13 above their average of 30.1 per game. This is the first time this season the Warriors attempted more than 40 3-pointers in back-to-back games.
Curry had 36 points and was 7-of-14 from deep. Durant had 22 points and was 4-of-7. Thompson also was 4-of-7 and finished with 26 points, as the Warriors outscored Minnesota 57-21 from beyond the arc.
If the Warriors keep this up, they’re going to have some explaining to do.
Cruel third quarter defense took over the game
After the Timberwolves shot 52.2 percent from the field in the first half, the Warriors came out for the second half with a much more aggressive mentality on defense.
The turned up the heat, tightened up their switches and locked up Minnesota, forcing six turnovers -- leading to 11 Warriors points -- and limiting the Timberwolves to 4-of-18 (22.2 percent) shooting in the third quarter.
That was enough to hike their six-point halftime lead (63-57) to 14 (91-77) entering the fourth frame.
The Timberwolves never pulled closer than within eight points in the final quarter.