Wed | Nov 22, 2017

Curry, Thompson hit top form for Warriors

Published:Friday | November 10, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Minnesota Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler (right) drives the ball against Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday night in Oakland, California.

OAKLAND, California (AP):

Steve Kerr will never wish for a star player to sit injured as Kevin Durant did against Minnesota on Wednesday night.

The Golden State coach sure saw a lot of encouraging signs from many in his supporting cast to pick up the slack with the NBA Finals MVP nursing a bruised left thigh.

The good ol' standbys did their share of dazzling, too.

Klay Thompson scored 28 points with six 3-pointers, Stephen Curry had 22 points, eight assists and eight rebounds, and the Warriors beat the Timberwolves 125-101 for their fifth straight win.

Even without injured KD, the defending champs began to look like their dominant selves behind another strong defensive performance.

"Five guys helping and communicating, talking, it was a thing of beauty tonight," Curry said of the defence.

Draymond Green posted another balanced effort with seven points, six rebounds, six assists and two blocks for the Warriors, who played without NBA Finals MVP Durant as he nursed a bruised left thigh.

Andre Iguodala started in place of Durant, and the 2015 Finals MVP scored a season-high 11 points. The Warriors notched a season-best quarter with 44 points in the third to pull away after leading 51-50 at halftime.

"I actually kind of like these games when we have to sit somebody," Kerr said. "We have so much talent, we can afford to miss one of our main guys. It's good for the team, it's good for morale, it's good for individual development, and it forces the group to play together when you're missing one of your main guys."

 

WINNING STREAK SNAPPED

 

Andrew Wiggins scored 17 points and Karl-Anthony Towns had 16 points and 12 rebounds as the Timberwolves had their five-game winning streak snapped.

This marked the first regular-season matchup between the teams after they played a pair of exhibition games in China last month.

It's the first time the teams faced off each atop their respective divisions. Only three times previously had they played both with records of .500 or above.

"We got humbled tonight," Minnesota's Taj Gibson said. "That's the kind of level we want to get to, the way they're playing over there."

Thompson shot 11 for 20 overall and 6 of 12 from long range. Omri Casspi added 13 points, three blocks and two steals.

Golden State had to overcome another cold start on offence, shooting 8 for 22 in the first quarter 4 of 10 on 3s. Two days earlier in a win against Miami, the Warriors shot 36.8 per cent and 11 of 32 from beyond the arc.

 

CAUTION WITH DURANT

 

Durant categorised his injury as "nothing too serious." He said he hurt the quadriceps muscle the first play of the game against the Heat on Monday.

"If this were a playoff game, he'd be playing, but it's not, so it makes perfect sense to give him tonight off," Kerr said. "We have a couple of more nights before our next game. He should be fine I would think by then."

KD hopes to play tomorrow against the 76ers.

Other results: Detroit Pistons 114 Indiana Pacers 97; Orlando Magic 112 New York Knicks 99; Boston Celtics 107 Los Angeles Lakers 96; Phoenix Suns 115 Miami Heat 126; Golden State Warriors 125 Minnesota Timberwolves 101.