Battling for top spot, Wolves out to sweep Warriors

League: NBA

Posted on: 23 Mar, 2024 at 11:36 PM

Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves will try to finish off a regular-season series sweep against the Golden State Warriors when the teams tip off Sunday evening in Minneapolis.

Minnesota (48-22) is coming off a 104-91 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night. The Timberwolves have won four of their past five games as they jockey for a top spot in the Western Conference playoffs.

Meanwhile, Golden State (36-33) is looking to maintain an edge over the Houston Rockets for the West's final play-in spot. The Warriors are in 10th place and trail the Los Angeles Lakers by a game-and-a-half for ninth place entering Sunday.

This is the third and final game of the regular season between the teams.

Minnesota won the first matchup 116-110 on Nov. 12 in San Francisco. Anthony Edwards had 33 points, seven assists and six rebounds to lead the Timberwolves, and Stephen Curry paced the Warriors with 38 points, including five 3-pointers.

Two nights later, the teams met again on the Warriors' home court. The Timberwolves held on for a 104-101 win thanks in large part to Karl-Anthony Towns, who scored 33 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.

Towns is out for the final matchup because of a torn left meniscus. His absence has created an increased opportunity for Naz Reid, who finished with 18 points on 7-for-15 shooting against Cleveland to help the Timberwolves secure the win.

Reid, who entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of LSU, has become a fan favorite in Minnesota. Fans chanted his name throughout the Target Center on Friday.

"(It's) amazing, something you dream about, especially at this level in the NBA," Reid said. "That's love. So much support. Everybody knows how hard I've worked since day one till now, and (there is) more to come."

Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said Reid has earned all of his success.

"He has been an incredible story here from day one," Finch said. "How he's changed his body, kept growing his game, plays with so much confidence and energy. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, teammates love him.

"He has so much skill. It's fun to watch him get better all the time."

In addition to Towns being out, Timberwolves big man Rudy Gobert (left rib soreness) and Edwards (dislocated left middle finger) are listed as questionable.

Golden State is led by Curry, who is averaging a team-high 26.8 points along with 4.5 rebounds and 4.9 assists. Curry is shooting 44.9 percent overall and 40.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Klay Thompson (17.3 points per game) and Jonathan Kuminga (16.3) round out the Warriors' top three scorers. Rookie Brandin Podziemski, who grew up in Wisconsin, will play in neighboring Minnesota as a pro for the first time.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr wants to see more after Golden State was bullied for a 123-111 home loss against the Indiana Pacers on Friday.

"They just pushed the ball down our throats and got out in transition," Kerr said. "I thought they were the more physical team as well."

Minnesota is 24-9 at home this season. Golden State is 18-14 on the road.

--Field Level Media