8:00 PM ET, April 4, 2012
Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
Golden State's Charles Jenkins is just getting warmed up.
David Lee had 31 points and eight rebounds, and Jenkins scored seven of Golden State's final nine points to help the Warriors rally from a 20-point deficit to top the reeling Timberwolves 97-94 on Wednesday night.
Jenkins finished with 19 points and seven assists and Richard Jefferson scored 13 on 5 of 7 shooting for the Warriors, who snapped a six-game losing streak. They trailed by 20 with less than two minutes to play in the first half, but outscored Minnesota 40-19 over the next eight minutes of game time.
The Warriors led by 10 with seven minutes to play, but the Wolves tied it with 90 seconds to go. Then Jenkins, a virtually unknown rookie second-round draft pick from Hofstra, scored on a driving layup with 20 seconds to go to put the Warriors up for good.
"I've always practiced those situations as a kid," Jenkins said. "I think every kid practices the five-four-three-two-one or taking the big shot."
Jenkins has started five of the past six games with star guard Stephen Curry out because of another ankle injury, and he's responded in a major way. He had 27 points and six assists against Portland on March 25, then 18 points and 12 assists against the Nets on March 30.
He went 8 of 13 from the field on Wednesday, getting to the rim at will against the Wolves.
"I continue to be pleased. I'm not surprised because he's a gamer," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "He's a guy that works his tail off, competes, defends, not afraid to get into the paint area, made plays and was one of the best players on the floor tonight."
Love had 29 points and 12 rebounds and Wayne Ellington scored 10 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter for the Timberwolves, who have lost four in a row and five of their past six to fall out of playoff contention.
J.J. Barea had 15 points and eight assists in his return from a six-game absence because of a bruised thigh. But he also committed seven of Minnesota's 19 turnovers.
"We deserved every boo we got," Love said.
Barea's 3-pointer from the elbow tied it at 94 with 1:24 to play, but playing with the bravado his coach did during a brilliant NBA career, Jenkins drove to the basket and somehow scooped a shot in for a 96-94 lead.
"Those are game-winning plays and that's what you have to have," Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. "We were doing that before and we're not doing that now."
The Wolves had a chance to tie it with 0.7 seconds left, but Love's 3 at the buzzer was just short.
Ricky Rubio (torn left ACL), Nikola Pekovic (right ankle), Michael Beasley (left big toe) and Barea have all missed big chunks of time in March with injuries and Luke Ridnour (sprained right ankle) was the latest to go down on Monday. But the Wolves were still 4½ games back of Houston for the eighth spot in the West heading into the day.
Love leads the league in minutes played and said "everybody's tired at this point." But Adelman didn't want to hear fatigue mentioned when the Warriors were playing the second game of a back-to-back.
"It's inexcusable," Adelman said. "I just don't understand what was going through our minds, especially the situation we're in. If we're not tougher mentally than that, then we're going to have a hard time. We're going to have a hard time."
The Warriors showed little interest in the early going, settling for jumper after jumper. They scored six points in the first eight minutes of the second quarter and were down 49-29 after Ellington's 3-pointer with 1:53 to play in the half.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the Warriors came alive. They scored 10 straight points in less than a minute to cut the halftime deficit to 12, then poured it on with a 38-point third period. Klay Thompson started knocking down those jumpers that were missed early in the game, and Lee's work on the boards helped offset Love's usual dominance.
"We could've very easily folded the tent," Jackson said. "Give our guys credit, they bounced back, they made plays, the third quarter was huge for us."
Pekovic started the game 4 for 4, giving him 11 straight made field goals, a streak that was snapped with his first shot of the second half. ... Wolves rookie Derrick Williams had just three points and four rebounds in 13 minutes. ... The Warriors entered the night second in the NBA in 3-point shooting at .387, but hit just 25 percent on Wednesday night.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 04: Kevin Love #42 of the Minnesota Timberwolves goes to the basket against the Golden...(Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||41-86 (.477)||37-87 (.425)|
|3PM-3PA||4-16 (.250)||9-31 (.290)|
|FTM-FTA||11-16 (.688)||11-16 (.688)|
|Fast Break Points||12||3|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||17 (0/0)||14 (1/0)|
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