OAKLAND -- On a night when the focus was on Warriors legend Chris Mullin, whose jersey was retired at halftime, the current Golden State team gave a noisy Oracle Arena a thriller, but its second-half comeback fell short in a 97-93 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The game started slow for both teams, with the first score coming after more than 2½ minutes, but Minnesota got hot first and jumped out to a 21-14 lead after the first quarter.
The T’wolves kept it up in the second and expanded their lead to 49-35 at halftime.
David Lee led the Warriors, who have lost four straight, with 25 points and nine rebounds, and Richard Jefferson, the newest Warrior, rebounded from a poor debut with the team Saturday to score 19 points.
Rookie Klay Thompson, inserted into the starting lineup after the trade that sent Monta Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks, missed all six of his shot attempts in the first half. Thompson wound up scoring
12 points in the third quarter, then disappeared for much of the fourth quarter before hitting two late shots after the game had been decided, to finish with 17 points.
The Warriors made a push in the third quarter with a 27-12 run to take their first lead at 62-61, but Minnesota reclaimed a four-point lead by the end of the quarter.
The score continued to go back and forth with four lead changes and three ties in the final quarter, but Kevin Love, considered by some to be the best power forward in the league, put the Timberwolves on his back late, scoring 12 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter to go with 17 rebounds.