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Wolves need all 48 minutes for ugly win over Warriors

It was ugly from start to finish but the Timberwolves survived.
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It took less than two minutes for the game to spiral out of control and it Minnesota didn't regain control until Mike Conley hit a 3-pointer with 8.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter as the Timberwolves left San Francisco with a two game sweep of the Golden State Warriors, winning 104-101 Tuesday night. 

Just 1 minute, 43 seconds into the game – with the score tied 0-0 – Klay Thompson and Jaden McDaniels got into a scuffle and Draymond Green put Rudy Gobert in a headlock, resulting in ejections for Thompson, Green and McDaniels on a night where the Warriors were already without Steph Curry due to knee soreness.

"Shoutout to the Minnesota Wild, it was like a hockey game to start the game," Karl-Anthony Towns, who scored 33 points, said on Bally Sports North. 

Golden State's gang of backups came out of the chaos with fire and built a 30-19 lead late in the first quarter, but Anthony Edwards' 3 made it 30-22 to end the quarter and then Towns erupted with nine straight points to start the second quarter, highlighted by a pair of triples and an and-1 runner. 

Final stats: 

  • Karl-Anthony Towns: 33 points, 11 rebounds, 5-of-12 from 3
  • Anthony Edwards: 20 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals
  • Rudy Gobert: 9 points, 13 rebounds, 3 blocks
  • Mike Conley: 13 points, 8 assists, 4-of-6 shooting
  • Shake Milton: 6 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists in 15 minutes

Nov 14, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns (32) reacts after scoring against the Golden State Warriors during the first half at Chase Center. 

Minnesota took a 43-42 lead with 6:43 left in the second quarter only to let the Warriors go on a 17-11 run to end the quarter and lead 59-54 at the half. The Wolves, riding a six-game win streak including wins over the juggernaut Nuggets and Celtics, couldn't buy a bucket. 

The struggles continued in the third quarter as Golden State extended the lead to 83-76, highlighted by Brandin Podziemski's turnaround 3 off the glass at the buzzer. 

Minnesota came out stronger in the third quarter. Rudy Gobert blocked a pair of Andrew Wiggins shots at the rim and later Towns hit back-to-back 3s to give the Timberwolves an 86-85 lead with 7:32 left.

The fourth quarter was basketball boxing match, with the undermanned Warriors going toe-to-toe with the Timberwolves. Dario Saric hit a straightaway 3 to put Golden State up 98-96 with 2:05 to go and then Towns answered with his fifth 3-pointer of the night for a 99-98 lead with 1:07 to play. 

 After a Minnesota miss, Gobert blocked a corner 3 attempt by Saric and then Edwards dribbled around the defense and into the lane before kicking it out to Conley for a 3 to put the Wolves up 102-98 with 8.6 seconds remaining. 

It was the dagger for Minnesota's seventh straight win as they improve to 8-2 overall, tied with Boston and Philadelphia for the second best record in the NBA, just one win behind the 9-2 Nuggets. 

The win Tuesday night was also an In-Season Tournament game, meaning Minnesota is 2-0 in Group Play. They have three more games to play in the group stage for eight teams advance to the bracket rounds in December. 

Up next: Timberwolves at Phoenix Suns, Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. CT.