Warriors beat Timberwolves 123-111 to sweep 2-game series
Published 8:18 am Thursday, January 28, 2021
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — James Wiseman hardly felt he had to prove something to the team that didn’t draft him.
The rookie center came off Golden State’s bench to score a career-high 25 points, dazzling opposite No. 1 pick Anthony Edwards in a matchup of last year’s top two draft selections, and the Warriors beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 123-111 on Wednesday night.
Edwards, who like Wiseman is just 19, also scored 25 points for his second-highest NBA total.
Wiseman, however, said he wasn’t looking to show anything to the Minnesota brass who chose Edwards instead.
“I really wasn’t motivated by that factor,” Wiseman said.
The big man dunked, knocked down all three of his 3-point tries and shot 9 for 14. He also blocked two shots, not fouling four times while going straight up to utilize his 7-foot frame.
“That was one of my best games defensively,” Wiseman said.
His maturity and impressive learning curve continues to amaze coach Steve Kerr.
“I’ve tried to picture myself at 19 putting up with everything that he’s had to put up with. It’s remarkable,” Kerr said.
Kelly Oubre Jr. had 20 points while playing through foul trouble for Golden State. Stephen Curry added 16 points, eight assists and six rebounds as the Warriors won their ninth straight at home against Minnesota to sweep a two-game series.
Andrew Wiggins delivered a big game Monday against his old Timberwolves team and scored another 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting Wednesday.
Curry struggled with his shot and finished 6 for 17 from the floor and 4 of 11 on 3-pointers after scoring 36 points in Monday night’s 130-108 rout of Minnesota.
The Timberwolves worked to get Curry out of sync but couldn’t do it consistently.
“You can’t just do it sometimes. We’ve got to be an every-possession team,” coach Ryan Saunders said.
For a second straight game, Kerr stuck with his new-look starting lineup featuring veteran big man Kevon Looney — and Wiseman in a reserve role. Looney grabbed a season-best 10 rebounds.
Damion Lee scored a season-best 17 points and hit four 3s to go with three steals.
Edwards had his second game with 20 or more points, shooting 9 for 19 with a season-high five 3-pointers. Malik Beasley also scored 25. Naz Reid added 19 points for Minnesota but went down hard midway through the fourth quarter after blocking a shot by Oubre before returning late.
D’Angelo Russell missed both games against his former team because of a bruised right quadriceps muscle. Russell played 33 games for Golden State last season before the trade last February that brought Wiggins to the Bay Area.