The Minnesota Timberwolves entered Thursday night’s nationally televised game sporting the league’s sixth-best defensive rating. But Stephen Curry and the ultra-explosive Golden State Warriors have a tendency to render statistics and expectations moot.
The defending champions just hung 75 first-half points at Target Center, and it would have been more if interim coach Luke Walton hadn’t gone deep into his bench after the Warriors raced out to an early double-digit lead. Who was the driving force behind their early success? You guessed it: the reigning MVP.
Curry dropped 21 first-quarter points on Minnesota, taking full advantage of Ricky Rubio’s absence to make life hell for the inexperienced Zach LaVine. Curry scored 25 points by intermission in total, feasting on a steady diet of typically difficult, deep and eye-popping shots like this.
But not all of Curry’s baskets were tough. Here’s a tip for the ‘Wolves: Don’t leave No. 30 in blue wide open from the corner.
Fortunately, Minnesota found some rhythm of their own in the second quarter behind the energy and shot-making of Andrew Wiggins and Shabazz Muhammad. Somehow, Sam Mitchell’s club only trails by 12 as the third quarter approaches.
And while that’s hardly a victory for the home team, trust us when we say this: The Timberwolves’ deficit could be much, much bigger. Golden State, after all, shot 63.8 percent from the field, made 10 three-pointers, and dished an incredible 23 assists in just 24 minutes.