NBA: Golden State Warriors beat Minnesota Timberwolves for first winning streak of season

D'Angelo Russell #0 of the Golden State Warriors is fouled by Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Minnesota Timberwolves at Chase Center in San Francisco on Dec 23, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - D'Angelo Russell capped a 30-point performance with two clinching free throws with 19.7 seconds remaining on Monday night (Dec 23) as the Golden State Warriors won for a second straight time for the first time all season, beating the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves 113-104.

In a rematch of a November game at Minnesota in which Russell outscored Andrew Wiggins 52-40 in one of the season's top scoring duels, the Warriors guard got the better of his opponent again, with the Timberwolves standout going for 22 points this time in his team's 11th straight loss.

Golden State appeared headed for an easy win with a 24-point lead late in the third quarter, but the Timberwolves chipped away, getting within six on multiple occasions in the fourth period.

A three-point play by Jordan McLaughlin got Minnesota as close as 109-104 with 22.7 seconds to play, before Russell slammed the door with his two clinching foul shots.

Golden State's Damion Lee capped the scoring with another pair of free throws with 8.2 seconds remaining.

The Warriors had failed to win a second straight after each of their first five wins. Rather, they went on three-, seven-, three-, four- and five-game losing streaks.

Alec Burks backed Russell with 25 points and a game-high eight assists for Golden State, which used an 18-3 burst in the second quarter to turn a 35-all tie into a 53-38 advantage.

The Warriors' biggest lead came at 82-58 with 2:45 remaining in the third period.

Lee finished with 14 points and Willie Cauley-Stein 12 for the Warriors, while Draymond Green chipped in with nine points and a game-high 14 rebounds, and Marquese Chriss added 11 rebounds.

The Warriors outshot the Timberwolves 44.2 per cent to 39.8 overall and 40.0 per cent to 32.4 per cent on three-pointers.

McLaughlin complemented Wiggins with 19 points off the bench for the Timberwolves, who fell to 0-3 on a four-game Western swing that ends on Thursday at Sacramento.

Jeff Teague added 12 points, Gorgui Dieng 11 points to go with eight rebounds, and Keita Bates-Diop 10 points for Minnesota.

The Timberwolves were once again without Karl-Anthony Towns, who is out with a sprained left knee.

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