Warriors whip Wolves 105-89 to clinch playoff spot

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 10, 2013 - 8:03 AM

OAKLAND, CALIF. – The Timberwolves saw – and heard – the difference one little year can make for a downtrodden franchise at the end of Tuesday’s 105-89 loss at Golden State.

The home team’s victory combined with Utah’s loss to Oklahoma City earlier in the evening earned the Warriors their second trip to the playoffs in the last 19 years, and for the first time since 2007.

And another Oracle Arena sellout crowd wasn’t about to leave early or quietly. They stuck around for the final minutes of a game the Warriors won with a decisive 31-16 third quarter and chanted the “P” word over and over until the visitors trudged through the tunnel to their locker room while their team danced off in celebration for what they achieved, not to mention the right to finally shave off beards they had let grow until this special occasion.

“I cannot wait,” Warriors guard Steph Curry said. “It means everything. Just listen to this crowd.”

Curry and backcourt mate Klay Thompson outscored Wolves starting guards Ricky Rubio and Luke Ridnour 54-13 on a night that started with Wolves coach Rick Adelman speaking enviously about the evening’s opponents. He did so not because the Warriors in a season have gone from 23-44 record to now 45-33. He did so because the Warriors possess the kind of shooters that the Wolves do not, a fact that was never more than clear than Tuesday night.

The Warriors entered the night No. 1 in the NBA in three-point shooting percentage while the Wolves were dead last, a position in which they have languished almost all season. Thompson then went out and simply made his first eight shots – including his first five three-pointers – and scored 25 points by halftime.

“They have a great shooting team,” Adelman said, referring to Thompson, Curry and Jarrett Jack. “You’ve got three guys out there shooting 40 percent (from three-point range). On our team that would be unbelievable. I’m really impressed with that. They can blow open a game or come back on you anytime. When you have three guys who can make plays and shoot the ball, that is a big advantage.”

The Warriors proved Adelman’s point when they twice rallied from double-digit deficits to win at Target Center earlier this season.

On Tuesday, Golden State turned a six-point, second-quarter deficit into an 18-point fourth quarter lead because of the kind of shooting for which Adelman can only wish this season.

Thompson went 1-for-8 for five points in the second half after he made nine of 11 – including 5 for 6 on three-pointers – in the first half.

“He had one of those nights he couldn’t miss,” Wolves guard Chase Budinger said. “Every time he touched the ball, it was going in. He had a lot of confidence shooting the ball.”

Thompson finished 10-for-19 from the field for 30 points and Curry went 9-for-21 for 24 points while Ridnour and Rubio combined to shoot 4-for-16.

“We didn’t play well at all,” said Rubio, who went 0-for-10 but refused to blame a shoulder he banged Saturday against Detroit for his performance. “It’s as simple as that.”

The Warriors now are headed to the playoffs and a first-round matchup with either Denver or Oklahoma City.

The Wolves have five games left now before they head out on summer vacation, in April, once again.

Utah had lost to the Thunder by the time the Warriors reached halftime Tuesday and Golden State coach Mark Jackson told his players so during intermission.

“I let them know they were 24 minutes away from accomplishing what they had chased – some for an entire career – and they deserved it,” Jackson said. “We are not going to hide it…There are people in this area that have been waiting for this for a long time. I see security guards high-fiving and smiling, I see concession people high-fiving and smiling. It has been a long time.”

The Warriors’ celebration also possibly reminded the Wolves what can be accomplished in one season.

“Yeah,” Wolves center Nikola Pekovic said. “If you’re healthy probably, you can do it. If you’ve got all healthy players all year, I guess you can do something more about it.”

Could that be next year?

“I hope,” he said. “I hope.”

What’s left?

Now that the Wolves have earned Adelman his 1000th NBA coaching victory by winning three of four games and six of their last 10 before Tuesday night, what’s left to play for here in the season’s final six games and nine days?

They still have the chance to alter the NBA’s postseason, whether it’s serving as spoiler with two games left against a Utah team that’s fighting to keep the Los Angeles Lakers out of the playoffs or attempting, unsuccessfully, to delay the Warriors’ celebration one more night.

“No, I don’t care about other teams, to be honest,” Wolves forward Andrei Kirilenko said. “I don’t think about trying to screw somebody up. The goal is to yourself and to represent yourself in the best possible way. We’re thinking about our game, we’re not thinking about the other team. We’re professionals. We get paid money for this.”

Final answer

At least the Wolves entered the season’s final eight days knowing for sure that two-time All Star Kevin Love will not play again this season because of arthroscopic surgery that likely will be done Wednesday while he gets his healing broken hand examined at New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery.

“I knew his knee bothered him some, but it was a decision that was out of my hands until they said he could play,” Adelman said. “Like I’ve said all along, we have to deal with the guys we have here. Hopefully, he’ll get everything done and be that much further ahead.”

First timer

Pekovic on Monday did something even Kevin Love hasn’t done yet in his NBA career: He became the first Timberwolf since Al Jefferson in January 2009 to be named the Western Conference’s Player of the Week.

Love has never won the honor, not after that 30-point, 30-rebound game in November in 2010, not after he averaged nearly 30 points and 14 rebounds one month. In those weeks, the Wolves didn’t win big. Last week, they went 3-1 while Pekovic averaged 25 points and 8.5 rebounds.

“This organization has lost so much,” Adelman said. “If you have a good week, your team has to have a good week. I’m really glad for Pek. I’m glad he got the recognition.”

  • related content

  • Video: Warriors defeat Wolves, make playoffs

    Wednesday April 10, 2013

    Golden State shoots its way to clinching team's second playoff berth in 19 years

  • Gameday preview: Wolves at L.A. Clippers

    Tuesday April 9, 2013

    wolves gameday9:30 p.m. at L.A. Clippers * Staples Center * FSN Plus, 830-AMPreview: The Clippers’ 109-95 victory over the Lakers...

  • Wolves-Warriors game recap

    Wednesday April 10, 2013

    GAME RECAPImpact playerKlay Thompson, WarriorsMychal Thompson’s son scored 30 points on 10-for-19 shooting, including six of 10 from three-point range.By...

  • The Golden State Warriors' Jarrett Jack (2) battles the Minnesota Timb...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 3
Minnesota 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Baltimore 0
Philadelphia 1 Top 5th Inning
NY Mets 0
Miami 2 Top 5th Inning
Atlanta 0
Boston 0 Top 3rd Inning
Tampa Bay 3
Cleveland 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Kansas City 0
Detroit 2 Bottom 3rd Inning
Chicago WSox 0
Texas 0 Bottom 4th Inning
Houston 0
Colorado - T. Matzek 7:10 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada 7:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Gonzales
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:40 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 8:05 PM
San Francisco - J. Peavy
Oakland - J. Samardzija 8:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Washington - S. Strasburg 8:10 PM
Seattle - R. Elias
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 Delayed 9:55
(6) Auburn 38
(16) Clemson 21 3rd Qtr 7:01
(12) Georgia 24
Liberty 15 3rd Qtr 13:07
(23) North Carolina 21
Ohio U 14 3rd Qtr 6:41
Kent State 7
Louisiana Tech 0 2nd Qtr 11:08
(4) Oklahoma 24
Stephen F Austin 0 2nd Qtr 11:13
(20) Kansas State 21
Fresno State 0 1st Qtr 3:25
(15) USC 14
Southern Miss 0 1st Qtr 5:20
Miss State 7
Texas-El Paso 0 1st Qtr 15:00
New Mexico 0
North Texas 0 1st Qtr 13:32
Texas 0
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
Idaho 0 Delayed
Florida 0
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 FINAL
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 0 1st Half 25:00
Montreal 0
FC Dallas 7:30 PM
Chicago
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 33 3rd Qtr
Indiana 42

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many fantasy football teams do you draft?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close