MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Dorell Wright has found a home with Golden State.
Wright scored a career-high 30 points and set a franchise record with nine 3-pointers to lead Golden State to a 104-94 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night, snapping the Warriors’ five-game losing streak.
Monta Ellis had 26 points, 10 assists and seven steals in 48 minutes and David Lee returned from an eight-game absence for the Warriors, who won for just the second time since Lee went down with a staph infection in his left elbow on Nov. 10.
Kevin Love had 21 points and 22 rebounds for the Timberwolves, his fourth 20-20 game of the season. The Timberwolves turned the ball over 22 times, leading to 32 Golden State points and negating a 55-32 advantage in rebounds.
Michael Beasley had 28 points and nine rebounds for the Wolves, who have lost four in a row.
Wright was an unheralded offseason signing from the Miami Heat, and he has flourished with starter’s minutes with Golden State. He never averaged more than 7.9 points a game in six seasons with the Heat, but entered the night scoring 14.6 for the Warriors.
Wright hit four 3-pointers during a three-and-a-half minute-stretch of the third quarter to help the Warriors take control. Beasley inexplicably continued to leave him to help other defenders, and Wright just kept burying open jumper after open jumper.
He only missed three of his 12 3-point attempts and the Warriors held an opponent under 100 points for the first time since a win over Detroit on Nov. 15.
His final 3 of the barrage gave Golden State a 76-64 lead and tied the franchise record for 3-pointers made.
It wasn’t just his shot-making that helped the Warriors on Saturday night. The Wolves pulled within eight with seven minutes to play and Ellis was furious after a foul call on the defensive end. The star guard was throwing his hands up in frustration, but Wright grabbed him and calmed him down before he could draw a technical foul for demonstration that would have put the Wolves at the line again.
After a defensive stop, Lee scored on a putback and Ellis drilled a jumper to push the lead back to 12, and the Wolves never threatened after that.
Love, the NBA’s leading rebounder, out-boarded the Warriors all by himself in the first half, 14-13. He was so dominant on the glass that Golden State coach Keith Smart was forced to keep Andris Biedrins in the game despite his foul trouble. He grabbed 11 of his team’s 13 rebounds, but picked up his fourth foul late in the first half.
He didn’t have many opportunities for boards in the second half, with Wright hitting every shot he took.
NOTES: Love is the first player since Kevin Willis in 1991 to record four 20-20 games in one month. … Lee finished with 10 points and six rebounds in 43 minutes. … Stephen Curry had 20 points and three steals for Golden State. … Timberwolves TV analyst Jim Petersen called the game on Saturday night, three days after suffering a heart attack.
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