Warriors 93, Timberwolves 88
Playing all 48 minutes of Golden State's third game in three nights, Charles Jenkins did his best to show everyone the Warriors are not tanking to sew up their draft position.
With no first-round pick this summer, the Minnesota Timberwolves have no reason to dump games. But it sure feels like they are to J.J. Barea, who blistered some of his teammates for not caring enough.
Jenkins had 24 points and nine assists to rally the Warriors from a 21-point deficit to beat the Timberwolves, 93-88, on Sunday night.
''He's a tough New York City kid,'' said Warriors coach Mark Jackson, a Big Apple point guard himself back in the day. ''A tough, hard-nosed kid who has no quit. Totally competes, gets after it. He was banged up, bruised up, battered up, but found a way to gut out a big-time performance.''
Brandon Rush scored 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and also grabbed nine rebounds. Klay Thompson scored 17 points for the Warriors, who snapped an eight-game losing streak.
The performance may have hurt the Warriors (23-41) in the long run. Utah holds their pick this year as part of a previous trade, and the only way the Warriors keep it is if they finish in the bottom seven of the league after the draft lottery. Golden State is in eighth with two games to play.
Nikola Pekovic had 19 points and 16 rebounds, and Barea had 14 points and 12 assists in all 48 minutes for the Timberwolves, who announced earlier that All-Star power forward Kevin Love would not play the final two games of the season because of a concussion.
You could've put together a nice All-Star team with the players who didn't play in this one: Steph Curry (right ankle), Andrew Bogut (left ankle), David Lee (groin), Andris Biedrins (concussion), Dorell Wright (right ankle) and Nate Robinson (right hamstring) were out for the Warriors; and Love, Ricky Rubio (left knee) and Luke Ridnour (right ankle) were out for the Wolves.
Being short-handed didn't keep Barea from blasting his teammates after the game.
''We've got problems here,'' said Barea, who shot 5 of 18. ''We've got a lot of guys that don't care. ... We're just going to keep getting Ls until we get players here that care, that care about winning, care about the team and care about the fans.''
Barea didn't name anyone specifically, but several objected.
''Until you point those guys out one by one, it doesn't really matter,'' said forward Michael Beasley, who scored eight points on 3-for-11 shooting and had nine rebounds. ''That was a collective loss.''
With Barea pushing the tempo in the open floor and Pekovic controlling the paint, the Timberwolves surged out to a 53-32 lead late in the second quarter.
Just like in their previous meeting in this building, when the Warriors came back from 20 down to beat the Wolves on April 4, Jenkins got rolling in the second half to bring Golden State back. The super-quick point guard had his way with Barea, scoring three straight buckets during a 10-0 run that cut the deficit to 68-63 late in the third quarter.
The Warriors then ripped off a 12-2 surge midway through the fourth quarter, culminating in a jumper from Jenkins to give them their first lead, 83-81, with 5:45 to play.
''Coach kept telling me to stay aggressive,'' Jenkins said. ''The more the shots started to fall, the more confident I got in taking them. Everything just worked out.''
Pekovic's putback gave Minnesota an 88-87 lead with 1:28 to go, but Rush came back with a 3, and Dominic McGuire converted a three-point play when he was fouled on a dunk to seal the win.
''There's some guys in here that have been more worried about other things,'' Wolves forward Anthony Tolliver said. ''It's not that they don't want to win, it's just sometimes the team concept goes out the window. Whenever you're struggling a lot of times people want to blame somebody else, but the biggest thing is people have to look in the mirror, plain and simple.
''The hardest thing to do is to say, `My fault. It's on me.' It's real easy to say `You should've done (this) or you should've done that.'''
NOTES: The Wolves made all 21 of their foul shots. ... McGuire finished with 12 points and seven boards. ... The Timberwolves hosted Rochester resident Igor Voykovinsky, who at 7-foot-8 is the tallest man in America.