OAKLAND, Calif. — After months of rain, Klay Thompson credits the much-improved weather this spring to finding his shooting touch. And he’s dead serious.
Dead on, too. No chance of April doldrums around here, especially with Kevin Durant on the mend.
Thompson scored 41 points for his 10th career 40-point game, Stephen Curry had 19 points and nine assists, and the playoff-ready Golden State Warriors ran their winning streak to 12 straight by beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 121-107 on Tuesday night.
“I’d probably say the weather’s gotten better. This sunshine’s been so good to me, been able to get outside,” said Thompson, who saw his share of precipitation growing up in Portland. “It just puts me in a great mood to come to the gym every day, get my work in, go home, enjoy the outdoors. The Bay Area is beautiful.”
So is the basketball being played lately by Thompson’s team.
Matt Barnes contributed 12 points, six rebounds and four assists, and Golden State could wrap up the West’s No. 1 seed as soon as Wednesday night with a win at Phoenix and a Spurs’ loss at home to the Lakers.
Now, it seems, the Warriors just need one key reinforcement: Durant. And KD could be back by week’s end with his team on quite a roll to finish the regular season atop the NBA again.
The Warriors can’t wait to have him — and be that much more dominant.
Curry doesn’t need to see Thompson hit a shot to know he’s on. Just clear skies.
“That definitely helps,” Curry said. “He’s got an adventurous personality so when he gets to go out and explore in his downtime, I’m sure that gets the adrenalin flowing.”
Andrew Wiggins scored 24 points and Karl-Anthony Towns 21 for Minnesota, which couldn’t keep up with Golden State’s spiffy passing and contributions from so many players on both ends of the floor.
In his highest-scoring performance since getting 60 on Dec. 5, Thompson hit 7 of 14 3-pointers — giving him at least four 3s in a career-best six consecutive games. His 262 3s rank as eighth most ever for a single season after he had 276 last season.
Andre Iguodala produced another impressive game off the bench with 11 points on 4-for-4 shooting, while David West dished out five of his season-best six assists in the second quarter to get the offense clicking.
Golden State has matched its longest winning streak of the season, also done from Nov. 7-28, and eagerly awaits Durant’s return perhaps as soon as Saturday.
The Warriors displayed more spot-on ball movement, with West providing the key minutes. He found Iguodala for a second-quarter 3, Ian Clark and Barnes on layups and hit Thompson on a jumper before feeding Draymond Green’s dunk.
“The way they shoot the 3, they can go on those runs quick,” Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said.
Coach Steve Kerr plans to rest both Iguodala and Green on Wednesday night.
With their 204th victory the Warriors have the most wins in NBA history over three seasons, the team said according to Elias.
This win avenged a tough defeat last month. The Warriors lost 103-102 on March 10 at Minnesota during a grueling road stretch that featured two cross-country trips, a one-game visit back to Oakland before back-to-backs at the Wolves and Spurs.
Without injured star Durant, too.
On Tuesday, with 1:04 left in the first, JaVale McGee made a hard foul on Gorgui Dieng and their arms tangled. McGee was walking away from the play and Dieng pushed him from behind, McGee turned around and immediately shoved Dieng in the chest as they jawed before being separated. The play went to review, with each player receiving a technical and McGee also a Flagrant 1 foul.
Timberwolves: The Timberwolves shot only 4 for 19 from 3-point range. … Minnesota is 6-16 on the road vs. the Western Conference.
Warriors: In the first, Curry hit a shot from three-quarters quart but after the whistle blew for a timeout. … Golden State had a season-high 41 fast-break points. … Hall of Fame Stanford women’s coach Tara VanDerveer, fresh off the Final Four and 1,000 career wins, sat courtside with owner Joe Lacob.
Durant warmed up and was set to travel with the team to Phoenix for the back-to-back, and use Thursday’s off day to do some scrimmaging testing his injured left knee. He will then be re-evaluated with the hope he is ready to return Saturday against New Orleans at Oracle Arena after being sidelined since Feb. 28.
Timberwolves: At Portland on Thursday. Minnesota has won just twice in the last 22 visits.
Warriors: Final road game Wednesday at the Suns looking for an 11th straight win in the series.