MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Looking at the schedule gave the Minnesota
Timberwolves reason to be optimistic about making a run for the
Western Conference playoffs.
But after a crushing loss to lowly Golden State on Wednesday
night, last year's Western Conference finalists appear to be
running for the lottery.
Derek Fisher had 23 points and nine assists to lead the Warriors
to just their sixth road victory of the season, a 99-93 win over
"It's such a bad loss for us," Wolves guard Fred Hoiberg said.
The Warriors trailed by as many 11 points in the third quarter,
but opened the fourth with a 16-2 run to snap a three-game losing
Kevin Garnett had 28 points and 13 rebounds for the
Timberwolves, who remain one game behind the Los Angeles Lakers for
the eighth and final playoff spot in the West after advancing to
the Western Conference finals a year ago.
With home games against the Warriors and Milwaukee and a game at
Boston this week, the Timberwolves were hoping to "make some hay"
as new coach Kevin McHale put it and gain some ground on the
Lakers, who lost to Boston on Wednesday night.
But the Warriors had other ideas.
After scoring just 13 points in the fourth quarter of a loss to
Memphis on Tuesday night, Golden State ripped off 31 against
Minnesota, coming up with every big shot down the stretch to stave
off the desperate Timberwolves.
"What happened to them is what's been happening to us just in
terms of the other team shooting the ball well," Warriors coach
Mike Montgomery said. "Tonight we shot the ball well and they
couldn't make a basket."
Mike Dunleavy's 3-pointer gave Golden State a 90-79 lead with
3:15 to go, but the Timberwolves responded with a 7-0 run to pull
to 90-86 just over 2 minutes later.
Hoiberg capped the run with a 3-pointer that got the crowd
going, but the Wolves fell asleep on Golden State's ensuing
As Baron Davis brought the ball up court, several Timberwolves
relaxed, anticipating a timeout from Golden State. But Davis drove
to the basket and kicked out to a wide-open Jason Richardson for a
3-pointer and a 93-86 lead.
"That was the back-breaker," Hoiberg said.
Richardson hit one more 3-pointer 30 seconds later to seal the
Dunleavy added 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting, and Davis had six
points and 10 assists for the Warriors, who are 4-33 when trailing
after three quarters.
"Tonight we showed a lot of character when we were down 11 and
kept on fighting," said Richardson, who scored 12 of his 21 points
in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors were 11-of-19 from the field in the fourth, while
the Timberwolves were just 8-for-22 after shooting 62 percent in
the first half.
"We got stuck on 75 forever," McHale said. "We had a pretty
good handle on the game for most of the night, but we just couldn't
muster any offense in the fourth."
The Timberwolves started the final period 2-for-15 to let their
lead slip away.
Adonal Foyle started with a layup and a jumper and the Warriors
made 6-of-10 3-pointers in the fourth to rally.
"It was like there was a lid on the basket or something,"
Troy Hudson had 17 points and seven rebounds, and Latrell
Sprewell added 15 points and six rebounds, but Wally Szczerbiak was
just 4-for-16 from the floor for 14 points and missed several open
shots in the fourth.
"We're going to be replaying those in our heads for awhile,"
McHale was noncommittal about the team's interest in
recently released point guard Gary Payton. "A lot of teams would
be interested in Gary Payton," he said. ... Golden State has six
games left on an eight-game trip. ... The crowd of 15,047 was the
smallest at the Target Center this season. The previous low was
15,103 against Portland on Dec. 14.