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March Mania

Timberwolves win 3rd straight, beat Warriors

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) drives to the basket as Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kelan Martin (30) and forward Robert Covington (33) defend in the second quarter Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, at Target Center. David Berding / USA TODAY Sports1 / 2
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Keita Bates-Diop (31) dunks the ball in the second quarter against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, at Target Center. David Berding / USA TODAY Sports 2 / 2

ST. PAUL — Robert Covington and Shabazz Napier scored 20 points each as the Minnesota Timberwolves continued their improved play with a 99-84 victory Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, over the visiting Golden State Warriors.

Naz Reid added 13 points off the bench as the Timberwolves improved to 2-2 without guard Andrew Wiggins, who missed his fourth consecutive game with an illness, and are now 3-6 without Karl-Anthony Towns (knee). It is a modest development after an 11-game losing streak to open December.

Glenn Robinson III scored 16 points and Eric Paschall added 13 for the Warriors, who lost their third consecutive game after a four-game winning streak.

Towns (25.6 points per game) and Wiggins (24.8) are the Timberwolves' top two scorers and both are due back soon according to head coach Ryan Saunders. In the meantime, Minnesota is getting solid production from its secondary players, aided by high-energy play.

The Timberwolves shot 44.9 percent from the field in the first half to take a 58-41 lead and shot 40.0 percent for the game. Golden State was held to 39.5 percent shooting in the opening half and 42.9 percent for four quarters, going just 3 of 20 (15.0 percent) from 3-point range.

Minnesota also had a 52-43 advantage in rebounds while winning consecutive home games for the first time this season. The Timberwolves also were missing Jeff Teague (knee) and Noah Vonleh (gluteal).

Kelan Martin had 12 points while Jarrett Culver added 10 for Minnesota, which was playing on consecutive nights after a two-point loss to the host Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

Damion Lee and Omari Spellman had 10 points each for the Warriors, who ended the season series against Minnesota losing two of the three games. The Warriors defeated the Timberwolves 113-104 on Dec. 23.

Golden State also was extremely shorthanded. Klay Thompson (knee) is out for the season and Stephen Curry (hand) is expected back in February. D'Angelo Russell also was out with a right shoulder contusion, while Willie Cauley-Stein (illness) and Kevon Looney (abdominal) did not play.