Jarred Vanderbilt was flying around the court, scouring for rebounds and loose balls. Anthony Edwards was attacking the rim at every opportunity. Malik Beasley was knocking down one shot after another.
And the Timberwolves still lost 130-108 to Golden State in San Francisco on Monday.
It wasn’t for a lack of effort or intensity. Minnesota (4-12) just didn’t have the firepower to match up with the Steph Curry-led Warriors.
The talent mismatch has been a reality for the Wolves for much of the season as they’ve played without Karl-Anthony Towns, but games like Monday are different. Minnesota wasn’t embarrassed. It fought throughout. It just didn’t make enough shots.
Trailing by around 10 to 15 points for much of the night after a slow start, every time Minnesota did creep to within single digits, it seemed like Curry — who finished with 36 points while hitting seven triples — always had an answer.
Such was the case in the fourth quarter. A Malik Beasley dunk off a Josh Okogie steal trimmed the Warriors’ lead to 103-95 with 6 minutes, 45 seconds to play. Curry was then re-inserted into the game, and scored Golden State’s next 12 points to re-expand the Warriors lead to 14.
The triple he buried with 3:25 to play to put Golden State (9-8) up 18 was the nail in the coffin. Few teams can contend with a flamethrower like that. Minnesota sure doesn’t, especially not without Towns and D’Angelo Russell in the lineup. Andrew Wiggins added 23 points, six rebounds, three blocks and three steals for the Warriors in his first game against his former team.
Beasley led the Wolves with a season-high 30 points, Jordan McLaughlin and Anthony Edwards each added 15 points off the bench and Vanderbilt and Naz Reid both hit double-figures. But offense is a struggle for this roster in its current undermanned form. A quick peek at the two starting lineups ahead of Monday’s game, with Golden State featuring five well-known veterans and the Wolves, well, not, told you about all you needed to know.
The Wolves shot 42 percent from the field and 33 percent from deep and never led. They gave a great effort, but that can only make up for so much on a consistent basis.
The same two teams will meet again Wednesday, again in California.