Winning at Minnesota is usually a cakewalk for most teams. But for a Golden State Warriors club that just lost on the road to the league’s worst team, no opponent should be taken lightly.
The Warriors look to end their problems on the road as they continue their season series with the lowly Timberwolves on Friday night.
Minnesota (6-25) is 3-12 at home, averaging 94.0 points. The Timberwolves are shooting 42.9 percent at Target Center, including a league-worst 27.8 percent from 3-point range.
The only team with a worse record than Minnesota is Oklahoma City, which beat Golden State (10-24) 107-100 on Wednesday night. The Warriors fell to 4-17 on the road, where they have allowed an NBA-worst 112.8 points per game, and will be away from Oracle Arena in three of its next four contests.
Warriors coach Don Nelson, though, isn’t blaming the schedule for his team’s poor effort.
“I am not crying about the schedule and I don’t talk that much about it,” Nelson said. “There are probably reasons why players don’t have the pop some nights and have it other nights.”
One of the few bright spots for Golden State was backup swingman Kelenna Azubuike, who scored all of his season-high 24 points in the second half. He’s averaging career-highs of 13.6 points and 4.9 rebounds.
Warriors leading scorer Stephen Jackson chipped in 17 points, but shot 5 of 16. Jackson, averaging 19.0 points, had a big game against Minnesota in the last matchup between the teams.
Jackson tied the game late in regulation and scored six of his 30 points in overtime as Golden State beat Minnesota 113-110 at home on Nov. 11.
Al Jefferson had 25 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks to lead the Wolves in that contest. He had 21 points and nine rebounds against Dallas on Tuesday night, but Minnesota blew a 29-point lead in a 107-100 loss.
It was the largest blown lead for Minnesota in franchise history. The Wolves led 70-41 early in the third quarter when the Mavericks started their team-record comeback.
Minnesota has lost 15 of its last 17, and had lost nine straight at home before beating Memphis 108-98 in overtime on Monday night.
Minnesota couldn’t follow that up with a win despite another strong effort from Jefferson, whose three-point play tied the game at 98 with 2:35 left. Against the Grizzlies, Jefferson had a season-high 38 points and added 16 rebounds.
The Wolves have been without guard Mike Miller (sprained right ankle) for five straight games. The veteran swingman, averaging 10.7 points and 5.9 rebounds, is listed as questionable.
Miller came close to triple-double in November’s meeting with Golden State, finishing with 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.