Towns makes pair of late 3-pointers, lifts Timberwolves over Warriors

Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II (8) defends against Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (1) during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 26, 2023, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

SAN FRANCISCO — Karl-Anthony Towns hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 11 seconds to play after Kyle Anderson stole a pass by Draymond Green, and the Minnesota Timberwolves held off the Golden State Warriors 99-96 on Sunday night to keep things interesting in the wild Western Conference playoff standings.

Jordan Poole gave Golden State the lead on a 3-pointer with 1:28 left, moments after Towns had connected from deep. Poole, who had a game-high 27 points, then secured a rebound on the other end.

The Warriors had a chance with 9.9 seconds left but Stephen Curry couldn’t corral Poole’s errant pass, then Curry missed a contested 3 from the baseline just before the final buzzer.

Towns had 14 points and five rebounds in his second outing following a 52-game absence with a strained right calf. He returned Wednesday against Atlanta.

Green fouled Rudy Gobert with 27.7 seconds left to save a likely dunk, and Gobert missed the first of his two free throws. Green went down hard taking a charge from the 7-foot-1 Gobert earlier in the quarter.

The Warriors had their nine-game home winning streak snapped and missed a chance to boost their playoff positioning. A victory also would have clinched Sacramento’s first postseason berth since 2006. The Kings, coached by former Golden State top assistant Mike Brown, will try to end the longest playoff drought in NBA history Monday night at home against Minnesota.

Naz Reid hit a baseline 3-pointer with 6:12 remaining, followed by a layup. He scored 23 points off the bench to lead Minnesota, which snapped a 12-game skid on the Warriors’ home floor.

Anderson contributed 12 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Curry tied it at 61 with 5:35 left in the third only for Minnesota to make a great play moments later: Nickeil Alexander-Walker lunged for a diving save across the half-court line to save a backcourt violation and flicked the ball to Anderson for a 40-foot 3 to beat the shot clock at the 5:07 mark.

Poole’s 3 just before the third-quarter buzzer got Golden State within 77-73 going into the fourth.

Gobert grabbed 18 rebounds to go with 10 points for the Timberwolves in their third straight victory following a three-game losing streak.

Payton’s back

In his Warriors season debut, Gary Payton II made a big 3 midway through the fourth and then took a charge on the other end. He played for the first time since the Warriors reacquired him at the trade deadline from Portland after he helped Golden State to a championship last season as a top defender. Payton had been nursing a right adductor injury in his leg stemming from offseason core muscle surgery.

He received a rousing standing ovation when checking in for the first time with 26.1 seconds left in the first.

The Warriors spoke to the NBA about determining whether the Trail Blazers withheld medical information about Payton, whose physical for Golden State brought up concerns.


Timberwolves: Minnesota outrebounded the Warriors 26-18 in the first half, 12 by Gobert, and 49-37 overall. … A replay review overturned Taurean Prince’s common foul to a Flagrant 1 with 30.4 seconds left in the first, and then he picked up his third personal just four seconds later. … Mike Conley hit four of his first five 3s to score all 12 of his points in the first quarter. … Minnesota hadn’t won on the Warriors’ home floor since a 124-117 overtime victory in April 2016, and this was just its second win in the Bay Area in the last 17 meetings.

Warriors: Thompson’s five 3-pointers gave him 273, moving him closer to his career high in 3s for a season of 276 set in 2015-16. … The Warriors tied the season series 2-all. … Golden State missed matching its season-best home unbeaten run of 10 in a row at Chase Center from Oct. 23 to Dec. 3. The Warriors have won 13 of 15 overall in San Francisco.

Up next

Timberwolves: At Sacramento on Monday night to complete the road back-to-back.

Warriors: Host the Pelicans on Tuesday night seeking a fourth straight home victory in the series.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.38/week.

Subscribe Today