On Wednesday night, the Golden State Warriors dismantled the Timberwolves in Minnesota by an impressive margin, 106-93.
If you just looked at the box score, you would think that Klay Thompson simply led the way, as he scored 30 points on 11-of-21 shooting from the field, and 6-of-9 on 3s. In reality, the Warriors’ balanced attack is what ultimately propelled them to the victory.
In the first half, the Warriors really struggled to get going from long distance, as they shot an uncharacteristic 0-of-8 from beyond the arc. Teams that generally rely on outside shooting are understandably at a considerable disadvantage if they struggle to hit 3s, but the Warriors’ multi-faceted offense kept them in the game.
Stephen Curry and Thompson were a combined 3-of-14 from the field at the break. However, David Lee stepped up, as he used an array of solid post moves and constantly attacked the basket, connecting on 7-of-9 attempts en route to a team-high 16 points at the intermission. Andre Iguodala also continued his strong start to the season. As is his forte, he attacked the rim with ease, and was 4-of-7 from the field, contributing 10 points in the first half.
After missing the first four games of the season with left foot inflammation, Harrison Barnes finally returned, and was an instant spark off the bench. He hit his first two shots on mid-range jumpers, and went into the break on fire, shooting 3-of-4 from the field, for eight points. The second-string really benefited from Barnes’ return, as they scored 17 points in the first 24 minutes, on 46.2 percent shooting from the field.
Instead of panicking because of their lack of outside shooting, the Warriors essentially went to Plan B, attacked the basket, got to the line (10-of-14), and went to the half up 50-47.
The second half was a different story, as the Warriors began to hit outside shots. After Curry sustained a bone bruise in his left ankle during the third quarter, Thompson was primarily responsible for helping Golden State widen the margin. After a poor first half, he hit jump shot after jump shot, shooting a sizzling 9-of-12 from the field, including 6-of-7 on 3s, and scored a game-high 26 points in the final two quarters. Although he struggled in the first half, Thompson lived up to the old saying “it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” as he shook off the rust, and propelled the Warriors to an impressive road victory.
Golden State shot 50 percent from the field for the game, and went 8-of-20 from long distance. Once again, interior scoring played a big factor in the final outcome, as they shot 75 percent inside of the restricted area, on 21-of-28 shooting.
Having a well-balanced attack will bode well for the Warriors throughout the season. Right now, Golden State is one of the top offensive teams in the NBA, scoring 106.8 points per 100 possessions. If they can continue to attack the basket, and shoot well from outside, it will be difficult for many teams in the NBA to match up with this team defensively.
Statistics used in this post provided by NBA.com/Stats