Golden State Warriors: 5 reasons they will win the NBA Championship


We're looking forward to having them back because they definitely change our team, and get us back to what we want to do as a basketball team.

The short-handed Warriors, trying to salvage a two-game road trip after falling in Portland on Friday, again came up short with superstar Stephen Curry sidelined by a sprained right ankle. Minnesota now ranks third with 112.0 points per 100 possessions and Golden State is first (114.4).

Speaking after the loss in Minnesota, Kevin Durant admitted that it felt unusual playing without Curry and some of their veterans.

"I'm very confident in where we're heading", said coach Steve Kerr, whose team fell two losses behind Western Conference leader Houston.

The bench is a little older and not quite as balanced, but Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston are battle tested.

Rookie Jordan Bell, who recently returned to the line-up following an ankle injury, could be a pivotal player in the postseason with his ability to run the floor and guard multiple positions.

He is making more shots than Curry and Durant, and he isn't just throwing up shots mercilessly either.

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The Timberwolves rank third in second chance points per game (13.9) while the Warriors rank last in second chance points allowed per game (13.9).

But the Timberwolves responded with consecutive baskets from Towns.

Golden State got off to a strong start last week before stumbling with back-to-back losses to close it, but much like a duck on a pond, there was a lot going on underneath the surface of the Warriors' record.

Karl-Anthony Towns' level of activity in the Timberwolves offense has been all over the board this season. This guy is a career 27 point per game scorer, Durant could average 30 in his sleep...

He took over with the Blazers down 11 points in the fourth quarter, at one point scoring 15 straight points. Former Indiana Pacers Teague has been solid in his first season in Minnesota, leading the team in assists with 6.9 dished on a nightly basis. That was one of their worst defensive games of the season.

Towns made his All-Star presence felt when it mattered most, swishing a 3-pointer with 5:54 left to give the Wolves a 99-92 edge for their largest lead since early in the second quarter.

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