Warriors

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 117-107 win over Timberwolves

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 117-107 win over Timberwolves

MINNEAPOLIS -- One day after the Warriors failed to find their shot in San Antonio, the defending champs found the necessary energy to put on a shooting display on the second night of a back-to-back.

In Tuesday's 117-107 win over the Timberwolves, the Warriors shot 48.4 percent from the field, dishing out 39 assists to just 13 turnovers.

Following the NBA All-Star break, members of the team said they wanted to clinch the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference by season's end. This win brought them closer to that goal, as the Warriors (48-22) finished their four-game trip 3-1 and maintained a half-game lead over the Denver Nuggets (47-22) atop the conference standings.

Here are the takeaways from the game at Target Center.

The Chef cooked

After surrendering a 9-0 run to start the second half, the Warriors outscored the T-Wolves 21-7 over the last nine minutes of the third quarter. Stephen Curry scored 22 points in the quarter, helping Golden State blow open the contest.

Curry, who finished with 36 points, hit his 300th 3-pointer of the season, marking the third time in his NBA career that he has eclipsed that milestone in a season.

Splash revival

Less than 24 hours after Curry and Klay Thompson shot a combined 14 of 43 from the field, the Splash Brothers put on a display. This time, they combined to shoot 23 of 42.

Thompson, who missed his first eight shot attempts Monday night, was 5 of 5 in the first quarter, helping the Warriors overcome a sluggish start. He finished with 28 points on 11-of-21 shooting.

Jerebko balled out

After toiling on the bench for most of the calendar year, Jonas Jerebko made the most of his opportunity with center DeMarcus Cousins sidelined.

Jerebko scored 18 points in 18 minutes, including 14 points in the second quarter, to help the Warriors secure a 59-47 halftime lead.

When Jerebko signed last summer, Warriors coach Steve Kerr told the eight-year veteran that his minutes would fluctuate. Over the past 21 games, the forward has had six DNPs. Kerr tends to reward players following big performances, though, so Jerebko's minutes could see an uptick in upcoming games.

Ja Morant, top NBA draft prospect, chooses Kevin Durant over LeBron James

Ja Morant, top NBA draft prospect, chooses Kevin Durant over LeBron James

Ja Morant soon will know his first NBA team, but he can't exactly pick his teammates. 

The Murray State guard is considered one of the best prospects in the 2019 NBA Draft. He'll likely be a top three pick come June 20, with many pegging him to the Grizzlies at No. 2 overall.

If he could chose his ultimate starting five, though, he'd only have one Warrior. 

"Whew it's a tough decision for the 3. I don't know if I'd pick KD or Bron," Morant said on the latest episode of Take it There with Taylor Rooks. "Probably KD. Because Bron, but I feel like I can be that facilitator for this team." 

[RELATED: KD continues feud with Broussard]

Morant rounded out his lineup with himself as the point guard, Paul George at shooting guard, Giannis Antetokounmpo at power forward, and Anthony Davis at center.

Morant averaged 24.5 points, 10 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game as a sophomore this season for Murray State.

Draymond Green doesn't care if Warriors face Bucks or Raptors in NBA Finals

Draymond Green doesn't care if Warriors face Bucks or Raptors in NBA Finals

Programming note: Watch the NBA Finals pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Thursday, May 30 at 4:00 p.m., streaming live on the MyTeams app.

Who will the Golden State Warriors face in the NBA Finals?

The Milwaukee Bucks won the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals, but the Toronto Raptors evened things up by taking both contests north of the border.

Ultimately, the Dubs' opponent is completely out of their control so there's no need to waste energy hoping for a specific matchup.

"I don’t really care who we play," Draymond Green told Mark Medina of the Bay Area News Group after the Warriors' Game 4 win in Portland on Monday night. "Whichever team we play, it’s going to be a good battle.”

During the regular season, Draymond -- who was named to the All-Defensive Second Team on Wednesday -- did not play in the Warriors' 134-111 loss to the Bucks at Oracle Arena on Nov. 8.

He also missed Golden State's 105-95 victory in Milwaukee on Dec. 7.

That means the 2017 Defensive Player of the Year hasn't squared off against Giannis Antetokounmpo since March 29, 2018.

“If that’s who I play, obviously you take that challenge on and you appreciate the challenge playing against a player who is as good as Giannis," Draymond told BANG.

Draymond was not in uniform when the Dubs lost in Toronto on Nov. 29 (when Kevin Durant scored 51 points), and it was just his second game back after missing the prior 11 when Golden State got crushed at Oracle by the Kawhi Leonard-less Raptors on Dec. 12.

What happened during the regular season truly doesn't matter and the Warriors will have plenty of time to prepare for either opponent.

For now, Draymond is just enjoying the extended time off. But you better believe he's looking forward to showcasing his talents on basketball's biggest stage.

[RELATEDLooney reacts to Kerr calling him 'foundational piece']

“Draymond is a competitive guy. He loves those type of matchups. He’s the best defender in the league,” Kevon Looney told BANG. “I feel way more comfortable with my defense when I got Draymond behind me.

"He takes our defense to another level."

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