MINNEAPOLIS (CBS / AP) — Klay Thompson scored 19 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter and Harrison Barnes scored 14 points in his season debut to help the Golden State Warriors to a 106-93 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.
David Lee had 22 points and 15 rebounds and Andre Iguodala scored 20 points for the Warriors (4-1), who entered this season brimming with confidence following last year’s run to the second round of the playoffs.
Kevin Love had 25 points, 16 rebounds and six assists for the Timberwolves, who have lost two straight after a 3-0 start. Kevin Martin added 23 points, but the Wolves’ bench was outscored 27-10.
Stephen Curry had just five points on 2-for-8 shooting with seven assists in 24 minutes and sat out the fourth quarter with a bone bruise on his left foot.
When Thompson found the mark, Curry wasn’t needed.
Thompson was 2 for 9 in the first half, but hit his first seven shots of the second half to help the Warriors pull away. With backup shooting guard Alexey Shved off to a terrible start, Wolves coach Rick Adelman had no choice but to try 5-foot-11 J.J. Barea on the 6-7 Thompson.
Predictably, Thompson just rose right up and shot over the little guy, drilling 3 after 3 in the second half. He scored 11 straight points for the Warriors in the fourth quarter, the last a soft jumper for a 94-80 lead, and the Warriors never looked back.
Barnes missed the first four games with left toe inflammation. He was a game-time decision, but he entered the game with just over 5 minutes to go in the first quarter and made an immediate impact. He hit two quick jumpers and scored on a pretty reverse layup to ignite the uncharacteristically sluggish Warriors offense, and the second unit chewed the Wolves bench up to start the second quarter.
The only thing that prevented the Warriors from pulling away in the first half was the struggles from the sharpshooting backcourt. Curry and Thompson combined to shoot 3 for 14 in the first half and the Warriors, who entered the game making a league-high 13.3 3s per game, went 0 for 8 from long distance.
The Warriors got a mini-scare in the third quarter when Curry got tangled up with Ricky Rubio and walked away limping. Trainers looked at his right ankle and right knee, but he quickly returned to the game.
The Wolves cut a 10-point deficit to 67-64 with four minutes to go in the third, but Iguodala’s 3-pointer off of a turnover by Love pushed it back to 75-64.
NOTES: Rubio had another rough night. He had seven points on 2-for-8 shooting with seven assists and four turnovers. … Curry, a career 90 percent free throw shooter, missed one in the second quarter. He missed 29 last season. … Barnes had a vocal cheering section behind one basket. He grew up in Ames, Iowa, about a 3-hour drive from the Twin Cities.
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