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.

Warriors' Draymond Green reveals two 'sleeper' teams in Orlando bubble

Warriors' Draymond Green reveals two 'sleeper' teams in Orlando bubble

Who is going to reach the 2020 NBA Finals?

The majority of the basketball world believes the LA Clippers or Los Angeles Lakers will advance from the Western Conference, and either the Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors will punch the Eastern Conference's ticket.

Is there a "sleeper" in the West who could shock everybody? According to Warriors forward Draymond Green, that team is the Houston Rockets.

"They got Russ (Russell Westbrook), they got James (Harden) -- who obviously can both go for 40 or 50 on any given night," he said on "The Steam Room" podcast. "They got a bunch of shooters and they're going to create proglems for people, because they're playing this switching defense.

"And the first thing that people try to do -- we saw it the other day -- you try to pound the ball inside. You're not just gonna run James Harden over on the post. You're not just gonna run P.J. Tucker over. A lot of teams will make that mistake and Houston can be really sneaky."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

And the Miami Heat are Draymond's sleeper pick in the East.

"They play really hard, they got guys that are tied together," the three-time NBA champion explained. "They got my guy Andre (Iguodala), who we know during the Finals and playoffs is great. The only thing with the Heat is they struggle at times to find consistent scoring.

"But they got a lot of talent, a lot of pieces."

[RELATED: Why Draymond is 'strongly against' a second NBA bubble]

Yours truly wouldn't be shocked at all if the Rockets reach the NBA Finals, but would be stunned if the Heat get that far. 

But ultimately, anything can happen when there is no homecourt advantage.

The playoffs are going to be a blast.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Warriors' Draymond Green explains why he doesn't miss basketball now

Warriors' Draymond Green explains why he doesn't miss basketball now

Draymond Green last played in an NBA game Feb. 27. And he was on the court only for 10 minutes because he was ejected in the second quarter.

The Warriors forward last played at least 30 minutes in a game on Feb. 12, which was Golden State's final game before the All-Star break.

As you know, the Dubs are not playing in the Orlando bubble. And it's highly unlikely they participate either in a second bubble in Chicago or in a team minicamp at Chase Center.

So what has it been like for Draymond with nothing to do basketball wise?

"Honestly, it's been great," he told Charles Barkley and Ernie Johnson on "The Steam Room" podcast. "I've had a lot of fun spending time with my family. I've gotten to know my fiancée better. I've gotten to know my kids better. That's been amazing.

"From a basketball standpoint -- I gotta be honest with you -- I don't necessarily miss playing basketball, because it's been such a long run that my body could use the break.

"But what I miss is competing at the highest level. The playoff basketball, playing in the Finals -- I miss that. Being able to compete at the highest level against the best players in the world."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

You can't blame the three-time NBA champion for wanting an extended breather. From 2015 to 2019, he suited up for 104 of the Warriors' 105 playoff games (he was suspended for Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals), averaging 37.7 minutes per night.

Draymond has dealt with various ailments over the last couple of years, and needed to refresh his body and mind. He knows the Dubs still are months away from reconvening, and starting the quest to climb back to the top of the mountain.

[RELATED: Why Draymond is 'strongly against' a second NBA bubble]

But don't get it twisted. The 30-year-old is extremely motivated to be an All-Star again, and would love nothing more than to capture a fourth Larry O'Brien Trophy.

"When you go to the Finals, everybody is watching -- including the best basketball players in the world that (are not) in that game," he said. "That's always the most fun time to me, and I miss that."

If Draymond delivers on his personal goals, the Warriors just might get back to basketball's biggest stage in 2021.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram