MINNEAPOLIS - The Golden State Warriors had what Jarrett Jack called "every excuse in the world" to lose Sunday afternoon's game at Minnesota, but delivered a 100-99 victory over the Timberwolves anyway.
The Warriors had rallied from a double-digit deficit to beat streaking San Antonio in overtime at home on Friday night.
They began a five-game trip Sunday at Target Center.
And they were playing an early game, 12:30 p.m. Oakland time on their body clocks.
Good thing then that the Warriors are what Jack also calls "a no-excuse, no explanation team."
They proved it Sunday by winning their third consecutive game after they had lost six straight before that.
This time, they trailed by 16 points shortly before the first quarter's conclusion, by nine early in the fourth quarter and by six with 6:20 remaining.
Yet they won for the 33rd time this season on an afternoon in which they committed 22 turnovers and got thumped 62-36 in points in the paint, but delivered a 15-8 finishing flourish that won the game.
The Warriors put themselves in position to do so because Jack again made a case for being named NBA Sixth Man of the year by shooting the Warriors back into the game in the second quarter. In addition, the visitors countered the Wolves' interior dominance by dominating the bench scoring.
Jack's 23 points - and career-high five three-pointers - and Carl Landry's 19 points helped Golden State's reserves outscore the Wolves' bench 43-11.
Ultimately the Warriors survived because Luke Ridnour's running fast-break floater that could have won the game for Minnesota just missed in the final two seconds.
"I have a great group of guys who are very resilient," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "We didn't start the way we wanted to, but the bottom line is they scratched, they clawed, they battled and they found a way in the win the ball game."
The Warriors now have trailed by margins of 20, 20, 16 and 12 points in each of their last four visits to Target Center, and they have won them all.
"That's what we should do, write that on the board," Jack said. "That should be the method, right? We make it hard some nights, but we keep fighting. It's not going to be pretty every night."
The Wolves had the chance to win in the final seconds after Jack missed a shot that would have given the Warriors a three-point lead. The ball ended up in the hands of Ridnour, who pushed it upcourt even though the Wolves had a timeout remaining.
"You have to push it at that point," Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. "Sometimes you get a lot better opportunity if you do it that way."
Ridnour had made a similar floating shot that beat Utah at the buzzer this season.
This one just missed and the Warriors hugged each other as they streamed off the court to continue a long trip that will take them to Indiana, New York, Boston and Philadelphia.
"Huge," Warriors forward David Lee said about the victory after he delivered 22 points and 13 rebounds. "These are the games that are the difference between a playoff team or not. It's easy to get up for a game against San Antonio at home on national TV, but come on a Sunday afternoon and the first game of a trip and everyone is a little tired from traveling and it's an early start San Francisco time?
"We got off to a bad start and we didn't panic and we found a way to come back and win."
Notes: The Warriors' victory from a 16-point deficit tied their biggest comeback victory of the season. They came back and beat Denver on Nov. 29 after trailing by 16 ...Wolves guard Ricky Rubio came within two rebounds - and four steals or four turnovers - of his first career triple double with a 16-point, 11-assist, eight-rebound, six-steal, six-turnover game. "He is more confident," Adelman said of Rubio, who had March knee surgery. "He is getting in better shape each game. He is quicker than he was when he first came back."...Wolves forward Kevin Love will have a checkup visit early next month with the New York City surgeon who repaired his broken right shooting hand and said he intends to still play the season's remaining 15 to 20 games. That would require a return by mid to late March. He broke his hand for the second time this season on Jan. 3 at Denver and says now he probably should have had surgery when he broke it the first time in October doing knuckle pushups. "In hindsight, yes," he said. "But the doctor said I didn't necessarily need it." ...Warriors center Andrew Bogut missed his second game while he continues to rehab a troublesome sprained ankle that caused him to miss 38 games before he returned Jan. 28. Now he reportedly has a protruding disk in his back and will be out indefinitely. Jackson urged patience and said there's no date for his return...Wolves forward Chase Budinger will return to Florida on Monday to see surgeon Dr. James Andrew for a checkup on his surgically repaired knee. He's hoping he'll get approval to do more running, jumping and cutting so that he can begin practice within the next two weeks. He had surgery in November to repair a torn lateral meniscus. "It's still a struggle to run and to jump off that leg," he said.