The Minnesota Timberwolves will try to halt a four-game slide on Saturday night when they head to Oracle Arena for a matchup with the Golden State Warriors.
The Wolves are 0-2 since All-NBA forward Kevin Love surprisingly returned Wednesday night against the Denver Nuggets. On Friday, Love had another double-double with 24 points and 13 rebounds, but the Portland Trail Blazers dispatched Minnesota, 103-95.
"We just didn't defend well enough," said Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman. "(The Blazers) shot the heck out of the ball, and we didn't finish plays at the basket."
The third quarter proved to be the difference on Friday. Portland outscored Minnesota 31-23 and shot 61 percent from the field.
The Blazers shot 53.8 percent from the field against the T-Wolves and Minnesota had no answer for Portland's starting backcourt. Wesley Matthews and rookie star Damian Lillard combined for 58 points on 23-for-34 shooting, including 9-for-14 from the 3-point line.
The Timberwolves had led the NBA in scoring defense, but have allowed 100 points or more in three straight. Minnesota fell to fifth in opponents' scoring as a result.
The Warriors begin a four-game homestand on Saturday night as they try and get back into the win column. They fell to the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center Friday night, 102-91.
Golden State held a six-point lead at halftime, but the Nuggets came out with a 31-17 third quarter. They led by eight heading into the final frame, scored the first four points of the fourth and the Warriors never really made it a contest.
"They turned it up a notch, and we ran for the hills," said head coach Mark Jackson. "We didn't respond. Give them credit; it was a disappointing way to start the fourth quarter."
David Lee recorded his sixth straight double-double and eighth overall on Friday. He had 21 points and 10 boards and four other Warriors scored in double-digits.
Steph Curry was not one of them. After 11 straight games in double-figures, including a 26.0 ppg average over the last three, Curry, plagued by foul trouble, shot 2-for-5 against the Nuggets and managed only six points.
"I was back and forth off the bench in the first half but that is no excuse," said Curry. "I've got to be more aggressive when I'm shooting and making plays."
The Warriors are 9-2 in their last 11 against the T-Wolves, but Minnesota won on the road last season, snapping a three-game losing streak in Oakland.